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Beyond Homophily: A Decade of Advances in Understanding Peer Influence Processes


Requests for reprints should be sent to Whitney Brechwald, Duke Child and Family Study Center, 718 Rutherford St. Durham, NC 27705. E-mail:


This article reviews empirical and theoretical contributions to a multidisciplinary understanding of peer influence processes in adolescence over the past decade. Five themes of peer influence research from this decade were identified, including a broadening of the range of behaviors for which peer influence occurs, distinguishing the sources of influence, probing the conditions under which influence is amplified/attenuated (moderators), testing theoretically based models of peer influence processes (mechanisms), and preliminary exploration of behavioral neuroscience perspectives on peer influence. This review highlights advances in each of these areas, underscores gaps in current knowledge of peer influence processes, and outlines important challenges for future research.