Date of Submission
Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)
Robert A DiTomasso, PhD, ABPP, Chair, Department of Psychology
Susan Panichelli Mindel, PhD, Chairperson
Celine Thompson, PhD
Serena Callahan, PhD
Research has shown that peer relationships influence both psychological and academic functioning (Woolley, Kol, & Bowen, 2008; Zimmer-Gembeck & Pronk, 2012). Peer relationships have also been found to be important components of a child’s emotional and behavioral functioning across cultures (Ladd, 1999; Jensen-Campbell & Malcolm, 2007; Parker et al., 2005; Parker & Asher, 1993; La Greca & Harrison, 2006)). However, there is a lack of research on peer relationships in minority youth, specifically Latino youth (Way & Chen, 2000). This study examined the relationship between peer support and psychological and academic functioning in a sample of Latino middle-school students. Self-report questionnaires as well as school grades were utilized to examine the influence that level of peer support has on symptoms of anxiety, depression, loneliness, self-esteem, as well as school achievement. The Perceived Social Support for Friends Scale (PSS-FR; Procidano & Heller, 1983) was used to measure peer support; this study appeared to be the first to utilize the PSS-FR with a sample of youth younger than 14 years (Way & Greene, 2006). The results showed a non-significant relationship between levels of peer support and psychological and academic functioning in this sample of Latino youth. These results are likely due to a low sample size and subsequently, a lack of statistical power. Limitations of the study are addressed and future directions are explored.
Bosacker, Carly MA, MS, "The Examination of Peer Support on Psychological and Academic Functioning in a Sample of Inner-City Latino Students" (2016). PCOM Psychology Dissertations. 368.