University of New Hampshire
Mentor: Dr. Ellen Cohn, UNH Department of Psychology
Factors Affecting Delinquency in Middle and High School Adolescents: Does Peer Influence Have a Greater Effect than Authority?
The purpose of this study is to determine the predictors of delinquency, or more specifically rule violating behavior in middle school and high school adolescents. Researchers in the past have investigated the role of peer and authority influences on delinquent high school students and have ignored middle school students. This study will compare the role of peer and authority influences as predictors of delinquency in both middle school and high school students. Three hundred middle school and high school students will complete a questionnaire that measures authoritarianism, peer relations, attitudes toward peers and authorities, and delinquent behaviors. It is expected that middle school students will be more influenced by their peers and high school students will be more influenced by authority. The implications for reducing delinquency will be discussed.