The Family Ecology of Boys' Peer Relations in Middle Childhood

Thomas J. Dishion

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246 Scopus citations


The association between boys' peer relations, their antisocial behavior, academic skill deficit, and family ecology was examined with 2 cohorts of boys and their families (N= 206) who were interviewed, observed in the home, and assessed in school. Group comparisons revealed that rejected boys experienced poorer family management practices (i.e., monitoring and discipline practices), showed more family stress, were of lower socioeconomic status, and displayed more behavioral and academic problems than did their average peers. Correlational analyses provided similar results and showed good replication across the 2 cohorts. The hypothesis was tested that the effect of poor parent discipline on peer rejection was mediated by the boys' antisocial behavior and academic skill deficits. Structural equation analyses indicated that the mediated effect model provided a better fit to the data than did the direct effect model. The findings were discussed in relation to the need for longitudinally examining the role of parenting processes and child behavior in peer rejection at different points in development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)874-892
Number of pages19
JournalChild development
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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