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PERCEIVED BEST FRIEND DELINQUENCY MODERATES THE LINK BETWEEN CONTEXTUAL RISK FACTORS AND JUVENILE DELINQUENCY

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Correspondence to: Dr. Paula Fite, 1000 Sunnyside Ave., Room 2012, Lawrence, Kansas 66045. E-mail: pfite@ku.edu

Abstract

The current study evaluated the effects of contextual risk factors (i.e., negative life events and neighborhood problems) and perceived best friend delinquency on child self-reported delinquency. More specifically, the present study extended the literature by evaluating whether best friend delinquency moderated the effects of contextual risk factors on self-reported delinquency in a community-recruited sample of 147 school-aged children (mean age = 8.22 years, standard deviation = 1.99; 54% male). Indeed, perceived best friend delinquency moderated these associations; however, the effect of best friend delinquency depended on the contextual risk factor. Findings and their implications are discussed.

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