Study Objective: On the basis of longitudinal data collected over 6 years, the changes in delinquent behavior and the related sociodemographic, personal, and family determinants were examined in this study.
Design, Setting, Participants, Interventions, and Main Outcome Measures: A 6-year longitudinal research design was used. Students responded to a questionnaire containing sociodemographic questions and validated measures of positive youth development, family functioning, and delinquent behavior.
Results: There was an increasing trend of delinquent behavior with the growth rate slowing down over the high school years. Male adolescents reported higher levels of delinquent behavior and showed a greater increase of delinquent behavior relative to female adolescents. Although positive youth development and family functioning were negatively associated with the initial level of delinquent behavior, they were positively associated with the growth rate of delinquent behavior over time.
Conclusion: Delinquent behavior could be described by a quadratic growth curve during high school years. Gender, positive youth development, and family functioning influence the level and developmental trajectory of delinquent behavior in adolescence.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The Project Positive Adolescent Training through Holistic Social Programs and preparation for this article are financially supported by the Hong Kong Jockey Cub Charities Trust. The authorship is equally shared between the first and second authors.
© 2016 North American Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology
- Delinquent behavior
- Developmental trajectory
- Family functioning
- Positive youth development
- Sociodemographic factors