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Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Educational and School Psychology

First Advisor

Justin Low

First Committee Member

Justin Low

Second Committee Member

Amy Scott

Third Committee Member

Tenisha Tevis

Fourth Committee Member

Linda Webster


Students experience many developmental changes as they experience adolescence. They begin to examine their identities in relation to others and often question their original values and beliefs that have been guiding their behavior. In fact, this susceptibility to peer influence can lead adolescents to engage in risky behavior rather than consider the future consequences of their actions. Despite the large body of literature that delineates peer influence and its effect on adolescent behavior, researchers have yet to examine the impact of high quality friendships on adolescents’ ability to resist to peer influence, and the following effects that this resistance to peer influence has on the youth’s identity and future consideration. Friendship quality was chosen as a moderating variable in the present study, as resistance to peer influence’s effect on identity and future outlook is believed to depend on whether or not the adolescent is in a high quality friendship. Specifically, the present study aims to answer the following research question: Does friendship quality moderate the effect of resistance to peer influence on identity and future outlook in adolescents after controlling for gender, socioeconomic status, and parental involvement in schooling? Many theories support the hypothesis that resistance to peer influence is associated with identity and future consideration, such as Social Comparison Theory, as well as theories associated with motivation. This study analyzed data collected as part of the NICHD–SECCYD comprehensive longitudinal study. Specifically, the effects of resistance to peer influence on identity and future consideration was analyzed in AMOS 22, using a multiple group path model with friendship quality as a moderator.





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