The prospective relationships of conduct problems and peer coercion and deviancy training during kindergarten (mean age = 5.3 years) to overt and covert conduct problems in third-fourth grade were examined in a sample of 267 boys and girls. Coercion and deviancy training were distinct peer processes. Both were associated with earlier child conduct problems but were differentially associated with child impulsivity, verbal ability, anxiety, peer rejection, and deviant peer affiliation. Coercion by peers predicted overt conduct problems and peer deviancy training and the interaction of deviancy training and coercion predicted covert conduct problems in third-fourth grade. Peer deviancy training occurs in early childhood and may serve as an independent risk mechanism in addition to peer coercion for early-onset, persisting conduct problems.
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