All participants will be required to report on the extent of their own substance abuse, and peers will report on the quality of the relationship between the target participant and themselves. This will provide a greater insight into how the participants view themselves. The hypothesis is that delinquency and adolescent substance abuse is strongly correlated, one to the other, in the developmental stage, therefore, one causes the other to happen. Furthermore, another hypothesis is that delinquency will be positively correlated and influenced by the delinquency and substance abuses of peers. If the results are as predicted, researchers can then determine which variable has the most influence when it comes to the substance abuse of adolescents.Introduction According to King et al. (2004), delinquent behaviors, such as violence and vandalism, are strong positive predictors of substance abuse among teens (King, Iacono, and McGue, 2004). Delinquency often precedes the onset of substance abuse (Kandel and Davies, 1992) and evidence suggests that the casual direction of influence flows primarily from delinquency to substance abuse (Mason & Windle, 2002). These findings are all consistent with Erikson’s developmental theory, which claims that delinquency and antisocial behavior provides an important pathway leading to the development of substance abuse and dependence during the developmental stage of adolescent, identity versus identity confusion. Criminal behavior and low grade point averages have also been associated with adolescent substance abuse. Although much research has been conducted regarding the relationship of substance abuse to adolescent delinquency, there is still no definitive answer or study that has pinpointed the true cause. Without this, there can be no absolute solution to the problem; therefore, the study I am proposing will investigate the simultaneous relationship between the development of adolescent substance use, delinquency, and peer pressure, in the hope that I will be able to create a valid theory with a solid answer to the problem along with recommendations for prevention.
Identity Confusion and Adolescence
According to Erikson, adolescence is the age during which people must set up an identity to escape identity diffusion and confusion. This theory details the changes that an individual goes through during the stage of adolescents. This is the time when teenagers question who they are, which can lead them to begin depending on their peers for insight, and, in turn, can lead to delinquency. Adolescents struggle to attain a sense of identity and to find an answer to the question "who am