, Volume 14, Issue 1, pp 15-27

Are Developmental Pathways in Disruptive Behaviors the Same for Girls and Boys?

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Data from the first five waves of the National Youth Survey were used to test the applicability of the Developmental Pathways model to a nationally representative sample of girls. Overall, girls were less likely to be involved in all types of delinquent behavior, with the majority of girls reporting no delinquent involvement across the five waves of data collected. Using the Developmental Pathways model, similar developmental patterns of antisocial and delinquent involvement were found for girls as have been found for boys. Approximately 70% of involved girls followed most steps in each of the pathways. We also evaluated the relation of family and peer factors to specific pathways and found differences in those relations for boys and girls. For girls, only parental monitoring was related to involvement in one of the three pathways. For boys, specific relations were found between family and peer variables and each of the three developmental pathways. As with previous studies on girls involvement in disruptive behavior, these results suggest some general consistency in patterns with that of boys, although differences in frequency and predictors of risk.