Ernest Jouriles, Renee McDonald, Michael Chmielewski


Adolescent susceptibility to negative peer pressure consistently relates to maladaptive adolescent adjustment. However, measurement of this construct typically involves a mono- method, self-report approach. The current study uses virtual reality to create an observational assessment procedure for measuring adolescent responses to negative peer pressure. Participants (n = 264) completed a lab assessment, including self-reports of susceptibility to peer pressure, antisocial behavior, dating violence perpetration, and depressive symptoms. Participants also engaged in 9 virtual reality simulations (4 involving peer pressure), which were coded for resistance to peer pressure. Control participants repeated the virtual reality simulations at a 2- month follow-up. Resistance scores evidenced item-level convergent validity with each other and discriminant validity with bystander behavior, coded from 5 separate virtual reality simulations. When peer pressure scores were summed and treated as a scale, they evidenced acceptable internal consistency, stability over a 2-month period, convergent validity with self-reports of susceptibility to peer pressure, and criterion validity with self-reports of antisocial behavior and dating violence perpetration. The latter two associations held after accounting for self-reports of susceptibility to peer pressure and participant sex. Results provide initial evidence for the utility of a virtual reality procedure for assessing adolescent resistance to negative peer pressure.

Degree Date

Fall 12-16-2017

Document Type


Degree Name





Ernest Jouriles

Second Advisor

Renee McDonald

Third Advisor

Michael Chmielewski



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License