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The mediational role of adolescents' friends in relations between activity breadth and adjustment

Archived Abstract of Former PSC Researcher

Simpkins, S.D., Jacquelynne S. Eccles, and J.N. Becnel. 2008. "The mediational role of adolescents' friends in relations between activity breadth and adjustment." Developmental Psychology, 44(4): 1081-1094.

This investigation addresses the mediational role of friends' characteristics between adolescents' activity breadth (i.e., variety in activity participation) and their later adjustment. Data were drawn from 2 longitudinal studies: the Childhood and Beyond (CAB; N = 925) study and the Maryland Adolescent Development in Context Study (MADICS; N = 1,338). Adolescents at Time 2 in each study (8th, 9th, and 11th graders in CAB and 8th graders in MADICS) reported on the breadth of their participation across 5 activity settings: sports, religious, volunteering, community, and school. Friends' characteristics and adolescent adjustment were reported by adolescents at Times 1 and 3. Friends' positive characteristics significantly mediated relations between activity breadth and adolescent depressive affect, self-worth, alcohol use, and problem behavior in both studies. Friends' negative characteristics significantly mediated these relations in CAB, but not in MADICS.

DOI:10.1037/0012-1649.44.4.1081 (Full Text)

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