Home » Psychology, Psychiatry, & Social Work » Developmental Psychology
Deviant Peer Influences in Programs for Youth
Problems and Solutions

Edited by Kenneth A. Dodge, Thomas J. Dishion, and Jennifer E. Lansford

462 Pages
Size: 6" x 9"
Copyright Date: 2006
June 2007
ISBN 978-1-59385-587-1
Cat. #5587
Price: $50.00 $42.50

“This volume is a quintessential reference on deviant peer influences in programs for youth. It is a necessary read for policymakers, practitioners, and anyone working with youth in group settings....It would make a great addition to graduate-level courses in the social and behavioral sciences.”

Criminal Justice Review

“This provocative book describes what happens when delinquent or high-risk youth are grouped together for interventions that supposedly are designed to rectify their aberrant behavior....This book should be essential reading for anyone evaluating and/or treating minors, especially child forensic psychiatrists who are often in a position of recommending evidence-based dispositions, interventions, and treatment(s) to the court. It also makes compelling reading for forensic psychiatrists, as it provides insight into how criminal defendants got to their present circumstances. The results of research into current incarceration practices reported in the book raised my concern about the impact of deviant peers on inmates and to what extent it contributes to high recidivism rates. Policy makers and administrators of institutions who care for children should read the book, as policies often lag years behind research data.”

Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law

“Whether you work with adolescents individually or in group settings, this book is stimulating and provides important content with clinical, economic, legal, and ethical implications not easily available elsewhere. This is a well-written and comprehensive book that can be an important resource for mental health, juvenile justice, and education professionals as well as policy makers.”

Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

“Provides a wealth of information....There is much of use here for social workers who provide group-based interventions....Represents an important advancement in knowledge, and it includes useful information for improving the effectiveness of social work interventions.”

Social Work With Groups

“This volume is quite successful in capturing the current status of theory and research on deviant peer influences across a variety of youth-serving settings and in drawing thoughtful recommendations regarding policy and practice, given the fact that many significant gaps remain in our understanding of these phenomena....It represents a major contribution to the research literature on deviant peer influences on programs serving youths. Researchers will find that a useful research agenda is laid out. Practitioners and policymakers will find a great deal of food for thought.”


“This is one of the most important books ever published pertaining to the design and delivery of effective services for troubled youths. This book has extraordinary breadth and relevance. It is highly pertinent to the work of practitioners, researchers, and policymakers alike, across the fields of mental health, education, and juvenile justice. Importantly, the recommendations in this book provide clear clinical and policy guidelines for improving outcomes and increasing the cost benefits of services for the nation’s at-risk youths.”

—Scott W. Henggeler, PhD, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Medical University of South Carolina

“Every parent knows about bad influences, yet for years our public and private child-serving systems have been oblivious to the possibility that some of our most well-established and richly funded programs and strategies for treating at-risk youth may actually be making their problems worse. This book examines the critically important topic of negative peer influences and how they develop and operate. Importantly, this volume goes beyond merely identifying the problem to grapple with potential solutions that attempt to balance the best interests of all youth. This is an extremely important and timely volume for researchers, practitioners, policymakers, and students interested in raising the standards of practice and optimizing outcomes in schools, juvenile justice, child welfare, and mental health systems.”

—Patricia Chamberlain, PhD, Oregon Social Learning Center and Center for Research to Practice, Eugene, Oregon

“Most antisocial behavior involves groups of individuals rather than solitary acts, and humans are social animals who tend to form groups with shared values and activities whenever they come together. This book asks the challenging question of whether, therefore, interventions (whether judicial or therapeutic) that bring deviant young people together may be counterproductive, because all-delinquent groups are likely to foster the very behavior that they aim to eliminate or prevent. The book looks broadly at influences in schools and the community, as well as in treatment or custodial settings. The discussion of these challenging questions is rigorous and based on evidence. It cannot produce a neat, formulaic solution, but it does put forward some practical steps that could make things much better.”

—Michael Rutter, MD, FRS, Social, Genetic, and Developmental Psychiatry Research Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, London, United Kingdom

“This book offers new and innovative insights into the variety of social, behavioral, and academic problems associated with grouping together deviant youth. More importantly, it provides sound recommendations on programs, practices, and policies with proven effectiveness for improving youth outcomes. I recommend this book to educators and others working with at-risk youth.”

—William Modzeleski, Associate Assistant Deputy Secretary, Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools, U.S. Department of Education
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