Peer informants, adolescents, psychopathology
Victimization and rejection by peers leads to and exacerbates behavior problems in children and adolescents. Given the implications of problematic peer relations for adolescents who experience behavior problems, the present study examined factors that may be related to how adolescents perceive peers who exhibit such problems. Specifically, the present study examined the relationship of adolescent peer informants’ socioeconomic status, their prior exposure to psychopathology, their own social competence, and their own behavior problems to their perceptions of peer internalizing and externalizing behavior problems, their liking of individuals who exhibit such problems, and their attributions for the etiology of such problems when portrayed by fictitious adolescents of the same age. In particular, adolescents were asked to rate a set of vignettes that portray internalizing and externalizing behavior problems that are seen commonly in peers and to complete a set of brief questionnaires. Results revealed that adolescents are able to accurately detect the presence of both internalizing and externalizing behavior problems in vignette characters. Additionally, vignette characters who display behavior problems received significantly lower liking ratings. Finally, although adolescents endorsed both internal and external etiological factors, ratings were related to the gender of the depicted vignette character and the nature of the portrayed behavior problems. Participants’ own externalizing problems, social competence, and previous exposure to behavior problems in others related uniquely to adolescents’ perceptions of the vignette characters. Overall, this study provided additional evidence that, although peers can serve as valuable informants, they also tended to reject adolescents who display behavior problems.
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Master of Science (M.S.)
College of Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Dissertations, Academic -- Sciences, Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic
Lauer, Brea Anne, "Accuracy Of The Peer Informant: What Characteristics Are Related To The Ability To Detect Behavior Problems In Peers?" (2012). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 2457.