Identification with peers as a strategy to muddle through the troubles of the adolescent years

Journal of Adolescence
M L PombeniA Palmonari


This study was designed to explore critical events during adolescence and coping processes as dependent, first, on the relationship with peers, and second, on the type of peer-groups teenagers join. In all, 75 young people, members of four street groups and two religious groups, were given a questionnaire assessing identification with their peers and demographic characteristics, and then interviewed about critical events. The results show that the nature of the group individuals join is of minor importance, whereas the relationship established with peers is crucial: highly identified subjects not only more often join their peers but seem to derive more profit from interactions with people in general, both peers, friends, and parents. The peer-group is important, not to substitute for contacts with the family or other persons, but as a social entity to fill a vacuum during adolescent years.


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