Adolescent self-regulation as resilience: resistance to antisocial behavior within the deviant peer context

Theodore W Gardner, Thomas J Dishion, Arin M Connell
Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 2008, 36 (2): 273-84
This study tests the hypothesis that self-regulation serves as a resiliency factor in buffering youth from negative influences of peer deviance in middle to late adolescence. The interactive effects between peer deviance and self-regulation were investigated on change in antisocial behavior from age 17 to 19 years in an ethnically diverse sample of adolescents. A multi-agent construct was created using adolescent, parent, and teacher reports of self-regulation and peer deviance. Results indicated that self-regulation shows convergent validity and covaries as expected with developmental patterns of adolescent antisocial behavior. Self-regulation moderated the association of peer deviance with later self-reported adolescent antisocial behavior after controlling for prior levels of antisocial behavior. The implications of these findings for models for the development of antisocial behaviors and for intervention science are discussed.

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