- A meta-analysis of the relations between three types of peer norms and adolescent sexual behavior
- Personality and Social Psychology Review
- Volume | Issue number
- 19 | 3
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Research Institute of Child Development and Education (RICDE)
The aim of the present meta-analysis was to investigate the associations between three types of peer norms—descriptive norms (peer sexual behaviors), injunctive norms (peer sexual attitudes), and peer pressure to have sex—and two adolescent sexual behavior outcomes (sexual activity and sexual risk behavior). Adolescent sexual activity was more strongly associated with descriptive norms (ESrfixed = .40) than with injunctive norms (ESrfixed = .22) or peer pressure (ESrfixed = .10). Compared with the sexual activity outcome, the effect size for descriptive norms (peer sexual risk behavior) for sexual risk behavior was smaller (ESrfixed = .11). Age, gender, peer type, and socio-cultural context significantly moderated these associations. Additional analyses of longitudinal studies suggested that selection effects were stronger than socialization effects. These findings offer empirical support for the conceptual distinction between three types of peer norms and hold important implications for theory, research, and intervention strategies.
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