Gender differences in risk and promotive classifications associated with adolescent delinquency

J Genet Psychol. 2010 Apr-Jun;171(2):116-38. doi: 10.1080/00221320903548092.


How likely are children exposed to multiple risk factors to engage in delinquent behavior, to what extent do promotive factors mitigate exposure to these risk factors, and do the predictors of delinquent behavior differ by gender? To address these questions, the authors analyzed data from youths (229 boys, 187 girls) who completed the third wave of the Lehigh Longitudinal Study using Latent Profile Analysis. A unique risk and promotive class with slightly elevated rates of exposure to parental violence, mean levels of other risk factors and low levels of promotive factors was present for girls but not for boys. Additionally, for boys and girls, high-risk, low-promotive individuals were significantly more likely to engage in delinquent behavior than low-risk, high-promotive cases. Findings suggest the need to examine risk and promotive factors in combination to account for their shared influences on developmental outcomes for youth.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / diagnosis
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / epidemiology
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / psychology
  • Child
  • Child Abuse / psychology
  • Child Abuse / statistics & numerical data
  • Child Behavior Disorders / diagnosis
  • Child Behavior Disorders / epidemiology
  • Child Behavior Disorders / psychology
  • Domestic Violence / psychology
  • Domestic Violence / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Juvenile Delinquency / classification
  • Juvenile Delinquency / psychology*
  • Juvenile Delinquency / statistics & numerical data*
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Models, Psychological
  • Parenting / psychology
  • Poverty / psychology
  • Poverty / statistics & numerical data
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Characteristics*
  • Social Facilitation*
  • Socialization