The Role of Adolescent Friendship Group Integration and Cohesion in Weapon-Related Violent Crime as a Young Adult

Marlon P. Mundt, Olena P. Antonaccio, Michael T. French, Larissa I. Zakletskaia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Weapon-related violent crime is a serious, complex, and multifaceted public health problem. The present study uses data from Waves I and III of Add Health (n = 10,482, 54% female) to examine how friendship group integration and cohesion in adolescence (ages 12–19) is associated with weapon-related criminal activity as a young adult (ages 18–26). Results indicate that greater cohesion in friendship groups is associated with significantly lower weapon-related criminal activity in young adulthood. In addition, for adolescent girls, a greater number of close friendship ties—an indicator of friendship group integration—is associated with less weapon-related criminal activity in young adulthood. These findings suggest that school-based initiatives to facilitate inclusive and cohesive adolescent peer communities may be an effective strategy to curb weapon-related criminal activity in young adulthood.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1643-1660
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Youth and Adolescence
Volume46
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2017

Keywords

  • Adolescent friendship groups
  • Cohesion
  • Integration
  • Social network analysis
  • Social networks
  • Weapon-related crime

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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