Antecedents and antisocial behavioral outcomes of deviant peer involvement in elementary school
This study examined the relations among predictors of involvement with deviant peers (DPI) at second grade, DPI and antisocial behavior at fourth/fifth grades, and antisocial behavior at seventh grade with 738 boys and girls. Externalizing problems at second grade predicted DPI. Social preferences, neighborhood safety, and poor parenting at second grade only indirectly predicted DPI through externalizing problems. DPI did not predict antisocial behavior at seventh grade after controlling for other factors. This finding could be due to several reasons including gender differences. DPI predicted antisocial behavior for boys, but not for girls. Boys were also more involved with deviant peers than girls. African American participants were more involved with deviant peers than European American participants, but no ethnic differences emerged in the relations among the predictors, DPI, and antisocial behavior. This study provides evidence of how DPI develops in elementary school and the effects of early DPI to antisocial behavior.