We wish to thank Alan Booth, Wayne Osgood, Elizabeth Susman, and the anonymous reviewers for their comments on earlier versions of this manuscript.
PUBERTAL DEVELOPMENT, SOCIAL FACTORS, AND DELINQUENCY AMONG ADOLESCENT BOYS*
Version of Record online: 7 MAR 2006
Volume 40, Issue 4, pages 967–988, November 2002
How to Cite
FELSON, R. B. and HAYNIE, D. L. (2002), PUBERTAL DEVELOPMENT, SOCIAL FACTORS, AND DELINQUENCY AMONG ADOLESCENT BOYS. Criminology, 40: 967–988. doi: 10.1111/j.1745-9125.2002.tb00979.x
Richard B. Felson is Professor of Crime, Law, and Justice and Sociology at the Pennsylvania State University. Most of his research is concerned with situational factors in interpersonal violence. His latest book is Violence and Gender Reexamined (American Psychological Association, 2002).
Dana L. Haynie is Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at the Ohio State University. Her current research examines friendship networks and delinquency, female homicide, and the connection between adolescent mobility and delinquency. Her recent publications appear in the American Journal of Sociology, Criminology, Journal of Quantitative Criminology, Homicide Studies, and The Sociological Quarterly.
- Issue online: 7 MAR 2006
- Version of Record online: 7 MAR 2006
The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health is used to examine the relationship between pubertal development and delinquency among boys (grades 7–9). We find strong positive relationships between pubertal development and violence, on one hand, and property crimes, drug use, and precocious sexual behavior on the other. However, we find no evidence that these effects are due to the effects of puberty on risk-taking, maladjustment, dominance behavior, or autonomous behavior. We do find evidence that pubertal development interacts with social factors—mature boys are more strongly influenced by delinquent friends. Pubertal development also has stronger effects on the delinquency of boys who are academically successful and thus are generally disinclined to engage in delinquency.