Peer Influence

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

8 Scopus citations


This article outlines research findings relevant to peer influence during adolescence. The multiple contexts of influence are described, including dyadic relationships, peer groups, and social networks. The article provides an overview of basic concepts relevant to peer influence such as homophily, selection, and socialization. Theoretic mechanisms of peer influence are introduced, including behavioral approaches to examining influence processes in peer interactions and identity-based theories focused on social comparison. Several factors that moderate peer influence are described, including individual, relationship-level, and contextual-level moderators. Finally, the role of peer influence in undermining the effectiveness of group intervention strategies for antisocial or high-risk youth is discussed, along with factors that may mitigate the extent of iatrogenic effects present in group treatment settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Adolescence
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)9780123739513
StatePublished - 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Timothy Piehler , PhD is currently completing a clinical fellowship at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis. He completed his graduate work at the University of Oregon, receiving his doctorate in clinical psychology in 2008. While at the University of Oregon, he received an NRSA fellowship from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to complete research examining the role of self-regulation in moderating the impact of peer influence on substance use outcomes. Dr Piehler enjoys spending his free time with his family in the outdoors and is also an avid cross country skier and rower.


  • Antisocial behavior
  • Deviancy training
  • Friendship
  • Homophily
  • Iatrogenic effects
  • Peer contagion
  • Peer groups
  • Peer influence
  • Peer relationships
  • Social networks


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