58 Soc. F. 1057 (1979-1980)
Parental and Peer Influence on Adolescents

handle is hein.journals/josf58 and id is 1075 raw text is: Parental and Peer Influence
on Adolescents*
B R U C E J. B I D D L E, University of Missouri-Columbia
B A R B A R A J. B A N K, University of Missouri-Columbia
MARJORIE M. MARLIN, University of Missouri-Columbia
Prior studies have come to various conclusions about the relative impact
of parents and peers on adolescent behavior. Such studies have measured a
wide variety of events that are presumed to indicate parental and peer pres-
sures on adolescents and have presumed various ways in which adolescents
might be affected by those pressures. It is here suggested that: (1) parents and
peers may influence adolescents through two different processes-the expres-
sion of normative standards, or the modeling of behaviors; (2) adoles-
cents may respond to such pressures directly or by internalizing norms or
preferences for conduct; and (3) pressures, norms, and preferences have
different effects on adolescent behavior depending on the topic of behavior
considered. These propositions are supported with findings concerning adoles-
cent drinking and school achievement. Among other conclusions, peers
are more likely to influence adolescents through modeling, while parental
influence is more strongly exerted through norms.
For more than two decades a lively debate has persisted among social
scientists over the relative influence of parents and peers on adolescents.
Some have argued that peers have greater influence, indeed that an ado-
lescent youth culture presently exists in the United States that dominates
the behavior of young people and is independent of, if not antagonistic
toward, the views of adult society. Others have suggested that adolescents
are still largely influenced by parents, and that peer influences are transi-
tory or tend to support those of parents. Reviewers of these issues (Ander-
sson; Gottlieb and Reeves; Hess; Kandel and Lesser, c; Sherif; Smith and
Klein) suggest that the answer to the question will differ depending on the
topic chosen for study. Thus, parents presumably have more influence
*This paper is one of a series reporting research on the expectations and behaviors of adoles-
cents. The research was supported, in part, through a grant from the National Institute of
Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (AA 0642). Thanks are due to Nan Elayer, Donna Jones, and
Bill Liccione for their efforts in interviewing, coding, and code development.
© 1980 The University of North Carolina Press. 0037-7732180/041057-79$02.30


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