Children, Youth, Families & Schools, Nebraska Center for Research on


Document Type


Date of this Version



Am J Community Psychol. 2023;1–11. DOI: 10.1002/ajcp.12716


Open access.


Interpersonal violence (IV) is a serious concern for adolescents in the United States that has devastating impacts for individuals and communities. Given the increased importance placed on friendships during adolescence, the purpose of the current study was to examine the extent to which IV experiences cluster within youths' friendship networks. Participants were students (N = 1303) in grades 7th to 10th who completed surveys at the beginning and end of an academic year. Results showed that friends' average perpetration (i.e., the percentage of the friends they nominated who perpetrated IV) was strongly associated with likelihood of individual perpetration at baseline but not at the follow‐up. For victimization, friends' average report of victimization (i.e., the percentage of the friends they nominated who were victimized) was associated with higher likelihood reporting of victimization (at both baseline and follow‐up). Although future research is needed to understand explanatory mechanisms underlying these findings, it is possible that the effectiveness of prevention initiatives may be enhanced by incorporating peer group information.