The Structure of Male Adolescent Peer Networks and Risk for Intimate Partner Violence Perpetration: Findings from a National Sample
These authors explored how peer network 'types' may be related to subsequent risk for intimate partner violence (IPV) perpetration among adolescents, using data for 3,030 males from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. Sampled youth were a mean of 16 years old when surveyed about the nature of their peer networks, and 21.9 years old when reporting on IPV perpetration in their adolescent and early adulthood relationships. Latent class analysis of the size, structure, gender composition, and delinquency level of friendship groups identified four unique profiles of peer network structures. Men in the group type characterized by small, dense, mostly male peer networks with higher levels of delinquent behavior reported higher rates of subsequent IPV perpetration than men whose adolescent network type was characterized by large, loosely connected groups of less delinquent male and female friends. Other factors known to be antecedents and correlates of IPV perpetration varied in their distribution across the peer group types, suggesting that different configurations of risk for relationship aggression can be found across peer networks. Modified Author Abstract.