Unraveling girls’ delinquency: Biological, dispositional, and contextual contributions to adolescent misbehavior


Book Section

© 1993 by the American Psychological Association, Inc. We examined processes linking biological and behavioral changes in different contexts during adolescence by studying an unselected cohort of New Zealand girls from childhood through adolescence when they entered either mixed-sex or all-girl secondary schools. The impact of menarcheal timing on female delinquency was moderated by the sex composition of schools: early-maturing girls in mixed-sex settings were at greatest risk for delinquency. Individual differences in delinquency were also significantly more stable among girls in mixed-sex schools than among those in all-girl schools. These contextual variations are interpreted in terms of the differential distribution of reinforcements and opportunities for delinquency.

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Caspi, A; Lynam, D; Moffitt, TE; Silva, PA

Published Date

  • January 1, 2014

Book Title

  • Risks and Problem Behaviors in Adolescence

Start / End Page

  • 293 - 304

International Standard Book Number 10 (ISBN-10)

  • 0815332947

International Standard Book Number 13 (ISBN-13)

  • 9780815332947

Citation Source

  • Scopus