Time with peers from middle childhood to late adolescence: Developmental course and adjustment correlates

Chun Bun Lam, Susan M. Mchale, Ann C. Crouter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

55 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examined the developmental course and adjustment correlates of time with peers from age 8 to 18. On seven occasions over 8 years, the two eldest siblings from 201 European American, working- and middle-class families provided questionnaire and/or phone diary data. Multilevel models revealed that girls' time with mixed-/opposite-sex peers increased beginning in middle childhood, but boys' time increased beginning in early adolescence. For both girls and boys, time with same-sex peers peaked in middle adolescence. At the within-person level, unsupervised time with mixed-/opposite-sex peers longitudinally predicted problem behaviors and depressive symptoms, and supervised time with mixed-/opposite-sex peers longitudinally predicted better school performance. Findings highlight the importance of social context in understanding peer involvement and its implications for youth development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1677-1693
Number of pages17
JournalChild development
Volume85
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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