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Sedentary Activities, Peer Behavior, and Delinquency Among American Youth

Delinquent behavior of one’s peers is one of the most robust predictors of adolescent delinquency. However, no study to date has explored the role of this relationship among those who engage in high rates of nonproductive sedentary activities (e.g., video gaming, TV viewing, and watching movies); a growing public health concern. Here, this issue is explored using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health). Findings support a direct relationship between certain sedentary behaviors and most types of delinquency. Furthermore, results indicate that the impact of peer delinquency on adolescent delinquency is partially confounded by above-average participation in computer gaming. Implications for research on sedentary behavior and delinquency (regarding both policy and theory development) are discussed in the context of cultural evolution into the digital age.