Henkel, Erik Donavan, "The Effect of Summer Enrollment in The Boys and Girls Club on Adolescent Peer Attachment" (2006). Senior Honors Theses. Paper 151.
The formation of friendships is an important developmental step for adolescents. Peer attachment is an attachment relationship that adolescents develop with their closest friends. Research studying peer attachment has divided it into three major categories: trust, communication, and alienation, the later of which is an inverse measure of peer attachment. Youth organizations like the Boys and Girls Club of America (BGCA) offers places outside of school where adolescents can socialize with their peers. This study measured whether the BGCA had a significant impact on increasing peer attachment, trust, and communication while reducing alienation. Adolescents were tested at a local BGCA using the peer portion of the Inventory of Parent and Peer Attachment. Adolescents were tested again after attending the BGCA for a summer period. One-way t tests were used to calculate the change in IPP A scores. There was no significant change in scores on total peer attachment; t (7) = .129, ns or on any of the three subscales, communication; t (7) = .842, ns, alienation; t (7) = 1.383, ns, and trust; t (7) = .437, ns. A Pearson correlation revealed a two-month test-retest reliability of .844. This is very consistent with the original test-retest reliability provided in the norming sample. Several factors may have influenced the lack of significant results: the small sample size, untrustworthy responses, the young age of the sample, and the possibility that peer attachment is a relatively stable trait.