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A multi-contextual examination of non-school friendships and their impact on adolescent deviance and alcohol use.


Despite decades of research on adolescent friendships, little is known about adolescents who are more likely to form ties outside of school. We examine multiple social and ecological contexts including parents, the school, social networks, and the neighborhood to understand the origins and health significance of out of school ties using survey data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (N = 81,674). Findings indicate that out of school (more than in-school) friendships drive adolescent deviance and alcohol use, and youth with such friends tend to be involved in school activities and are central among their peer group. This suggests that intervention efforts aimed at reducing deviance and underage drinking may benefit from engaging youth with spanning social ties.

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