On peer influences to get drunk: A panel study of young adolescents

Two cohorts of students (Nā€‚=ā€‚1,297) were followed annually from sixth through eighth grade to determine: (a) temporal relationships among susceptibility to peer influence to misbehave, perceived exposure to peer drinking, and alcohol overindulgence; (b) cohort and gender differences in these relationships; and (c) moderating influences of susceptibility on the exposure-overindulgence relationship. Seven alternative models were compared using LISREL. In the accepted total sample model, susceptibility contributed to increased exposure and overindulgence, and exposure contributed to increased overindulgence. Based on subgroup analyses, this model was generally invariant across cohort and gender, and the exposure overindulgence relationship varied as a function of initial susceptibility. Findings suggest that early peer influences on drinking originate with selection, which then contributes to differential socialization. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2007 APA, all rights reserved)