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Fuligni, A.J., Jacquelynne S. Eccles, and B.L. Barber. 2001. "Early adolescent peer orientation and adjustment during high school." Developmental Psychology, 37(1): 28-36.
The long-term consequences of early adolescents' orientation toward peers for their adjustment during high school were assessed. Approximately 1,200 adolescents completed questionnaires in the 7th grade and in the 10th or 12th grades; course grades were also obtained from the students' school records. Early adolescents who were willing to sacrifice their talents, school performance, and parents' rules engaged in greater problem behavior and evidenced lower academic achievement than did other adolescents during high school. The poorer adjustment of adolescents with this extreme orientation toward peers was mediated by their reported involvement in deviant peer groups. In contrast, a tendency to seek advice from peers more than from parents during early adolescence had little implication for later adjustment. Discussion focuses on the need to consider the role of peer dependence along with the effects of supportive friendships during adolescence.