Peer Relationships

Peer Relationships are essentially defined by the members’ characteristics including, style of interaction, as well as shared and unshared history of the members. Peer relationships are imbedded in the large peer group, which has its own set of interaction rules, hierarchy, and cohesiveness. The basic aspect of peer relationships is individuals’ socially exchanging information over a period of time. Peer relationships and social norms have been found to be the strongest predictors of substance use in general youth and young adult populations, due to the importance of peer influences during this developmental phase. Peers may play a particularly important role for LGBT youth, who are seeking connection with other LGBT people in the face of rejection by family, friends, and communities. Paradoxically, by seeking this support and connection, LGBT youth may expose themselves to greater risk.

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