Delinquent Peers—Rochester Youth Development Study

The Delinquent PeersRochester Youth Development Study is a longitudinal study of the development of delinquency and other problem behaviors in a sample of adolescents living in Rochester, New York. The study began in 1989 and is still ongoing. The sample consists of 639 adolescents who were initially recruited from local schools and were followed up to age 25. The study examined the factors associated with delinquency and other problem behaviors, including individual characteristics, family environment, peer influences, and community context. Data were collected through interviews with participants, interviews with parents, and school, court, and police records. The study found that peer influences were the strongest predictor of delinquency, with the strongest effects seen in the early years of the study. The study also found that family environment and community context were important predictors of delinquency, with family environment having the strongest effects in the later years of the study. The findings of the study have been used to inform prevention and intervention strategies for reducing delinquency and other problem behaviors in adolescents.

In the past 30 days‚ how many of your friends …

1. Used a weapon or force to get money or things from people?
2. Attacked someone with a weapon or with the idea of seriously hurting them?
3. Hit someone with the idea of hurting them?
4. Stole something worth more than $100?
5. Stole something worth more than $5 but less than $50?
6. Damaged or destroyed someone else’s property on purpose?
7. Took a car for a ride or drive without the owner’s permission?
8. Skipped classes without an excuse?
This instrument can be found on page 216 of Measuring Violence-Related Attitudes‚ Behaviors‚ and Influences Among Youths: A Compendium of Assessment Tools‚ available online at:
None of them=1
A few of them=2
Some of them=3
Most of them=4
Point values are assigned as indicated above. Point values for all responses are summed. Higher scores indicate higher levels of delinquency among peers.

Thornberry TP‚ Lizotte AJ‚ Krohn MD‚ Farnworth M‚ Jang SJ. Delinquent peers‚ beliefs‚ anddelinquent behavior: a longitudinal test ofinteractional theory. Criminology 1994; 32:47-83. /.