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Keywords:

  • problem behavior;
  • aggression;
  • adolescence;
  • risk and protective factors;
  • latent class analysis

Abstract

This study used latent class analysis (LCA) to identify patterns of antisocial behavior (ASB) in a sample of 1,820 adolescents in a nonmetropolitan region of the Northeast. Self-reported ASBs including stealing, fighting, damaging property, and police contact were assessed. LCA identified four classes of ASB including a non-ASB class, a mild, a moderate, and a serious ASB class. Multinomial logistic regression indicated that parent–child relationships served as a protective factor against engaging in ASB and peer, school, and community risk and protective factors differentiated mild patterns of ASB from more intense patterns of involvment. These findings suggest utility in using the LCA to better understand predictors of adolescent ASB to inform more effective prevention and intervention efforts targeting youth who exhibit different patterns of behavior. Aggr. Behav. 37:98–106, 2011. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.