Just like normal: A social network study of the relation between crime and the intimacy of adolescent friendships

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Bregje Houtzager
Chris Baerveldt
Cite this article:  Houtzager, B., & Baerveldt, C. (1999). Just like normal: A social network study of the relation between crime and the intimacy of adolescent friendships. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 27(2), 177-192.


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The relationship between delinquent behavior and the quality of peer relationships is the subject of criminological debate. Some authors state that delinquent youths have friendships of relatively low quality, while others predict no differences compared to nondelinquent peers. In the current study, the perceived intimacy within peer relation-ships, the occurrence of friendships, intimate friendships, practical and emotional social support relationships, functional relationships for misconduct, and unpopularity, are
measured within the school-networks of adolescents aged between 13-18 years. These measures appear not to be negatively associated with delinquency, nor when differences in sex, school, or the importance of school friends are taken into account in the analysis. It is suggested that delinquent adolescents have different ties with other delinquents than with nondelinquents.


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