Journal of Adolescence vol:36 issue:5 pages:925-933
Self-Determination Theory discerns goals and values in terms of whether they are intrinsic
or extrinsic in nature. Although research substantiates the importance of goal preferences
for a host of outcomes, few studies examined how such preferences develop, and studies
that did pay attention to this focused on parental influence processes. The present study
focuses on the role of peers. Social network analyses on longitudinal data gathered among
senior high-school students (N ¼ 695) confirm that peer similarity in goal pursuit exists,
and that, although this similarity partly originates from adolescents selecting friends on
the basis of perceived goal pursuit similarity, it also results from peers actively influencing
each other. Hence, friends tend to become more alike in terms of goal pursuit over time.
Data also suggest that, although changes in goal pursuit at this age can be predicted from
peer dynamics, they cannot be attributed to parental goal promotion efforts.