Peer Communication About Antisocial Activities as a Mediator of Interparental Conflict in Mid-Adolescence and Externalizing Problems in Late Adolescence

Document Type


Journal/Book Title/Conference

Journal of Child and Family Studies




Springer New York LLC

Publication Date


First Page


Last Page



The current study investigated whether adolescent peer communication about antisocial activities mediates the association between interparental conflict within the family system in mid-adolescence and externalizing problems in late adolescence. Participants were 115 families in which an adolescent and caregiver participated in a longitudinal study. Adolescents (53 girls, 62 boys) completed measures of interparental conflict and externalizing problems in 8th grade (age 14). Afterward, adolescents received a BlackBerry device configured to capture all text messages sent and received. During the 9th grade, four days of text messages were coded for peer communication about antisocial topics. Adolescents again completed a measure of externalizing problems in 11th grade (age 17). Results indicated that interparental conflict in 8th grade correlated positively with adolescents' externalizing problems in 11th grade, but only for girls. In addition, the frequency of communication about antisocial activities mediated the link between interparental conflict and girls' externalizign problems. The findings support the idea that adolescent girls' communications about antisocial activities with their peers may contribute to the link between interparental conflict and girls' externalizing problems.

This document is currently not available here.