A typology of adolescent delinquency: Sex differences and implications for treatment

Matthew Aalsma, Daniel K. Lapsley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: This paper presents a test of Moffitt's theory (1990, 1993a) regarding offending trajectories as it applies to a population of adolescent offenders. This study is novel since few studies have empirically explored Moffitt's theory (1990, 1993a) with adolescent populations. Method: Data were collected retrospectively on 174 adolescents (101 males and 73 females), aged 13 to 18. Three groups of offenders were identified based on a two-step cluster analysis: well adjusted, internalizing and externalizing groups. Results: Consistent with Moffitt's theory, a sub-sample of offenders (externalizing group) engaged in more problem behaviours than the other offending groups. Additionally, female offenders in the internalizing group evidenced more psychopathology than males in this offending group as well as females in the other offending groups. Offending rates, in terms of offending frequency and variety of criminal offences, were not distinguished between the groups. Conclusions: These results provide evidence for Moffitt's theory (1990, 1993) regarding trajectories in adolescent offending. This study also provides support for the theory developed by Silverthorn and Frick (1999) regarding female offending. This was particularly evident in the rates of psychopathology evidenced by a sub-sample of adolescent females in the internalizing group.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-191
Number of pages19
JournalCriminal Behaviour and Mental Health
Volume11
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2001

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Sex Characteristics
Psychopathology
Therapeutics
Population
Cluster Analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine

Cite this

A typology of adolescent delinquency : Sex differences and implications for treatment. / Aalsma, Matthew; Lapsley, Daniel K.

In: Criminal Behaviour and Mental Health, Vol. 11, No. 3, 2001, p. 173-191.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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