Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Dating, delinquent friends key reasons why early puberty linked to delinquency in girls

30.09.2003


Dana Haynie


Girls who go through puberty earlier than their peers are more likely to be involved in delinquency, but not for the reasons often suspected, according to a new study.

Researchers had long speculated that early-developing girls were nudged into delinquency because they had more older friends, and more male friends.

But, instead, new research suggests that the key factors appear to be the fact that these girls are dating and that they have more friends – regardless of age – who are already involved in delinquency.



“Girls who develop early aren’t any more likely to have male school friends, or older school friends than their less developed counterparts,” said Dana Haynie, author of the study and assistant professor of sociology at Ohio State University.

“But going through puberty early does expose these girls to other social factors that put them at risk for delinquency.”

The study appears in the September 2003 issue of the journal Social Forces.

Haynie used data from the ADD Health project, which surveyed a nationally representative sample of adolescents in grades 7 through 12 in 1995 and 1996. Data from a total of 5,477 young girls were included in this study. The girls were asked a variety of questions about their physical development, their participation in delinquency, and their relationships with friends and parents. Their parents and friends were also interviewed.

Overall, as expected, girls who were more physically developed than their peers in the same grade were more likely to be involved in all types of delinquency, from minor to violent.

For example, girls who were highly developed compared to their peers had a 27 percent increase in minor delinquency – such as shoplifting and vandalism -- compared to those with average development.

Moreover, girls who were less developed than average showed lower levels of delinquency than those experiencing average pubertal development, the study showed.

While the number of male friends and older friends were not associated with delinquency, dating did have an effect. The study found that early-developing adolescents involved in romantic relationships had a 35 percent increase in the least serious forms of delinquency such as smoking cigarettes and marijuana, drinking alcohol, lying to parents and school truancy. Almost two-thirds of more-developed girls were involved in a romantic relationship, compared to 41 percent of less-developed girls.

In addition, adolescents whose friends all participated in minor delinquency such as drinking, smoking and skipping school had an 118 percent increase in delinquency compared to girls whose friends were not involved in such behaviors. And more developed girls do have slightly more delinquent friends, on average than other girls: 77 percent of their friends are involved in delinquency, compared to 72 percent of average developers and 69 percent of less developed girls.

Haynie said relationships with friends seem to have the greatest effect on delinquency among early-developing girls.

“What I found is that parent-child relationships were playing a role, but it seemed to be a smaller role than did the relationships with friends,” she said. Parental-child relations were most important in explaining serious delinquency.

“Perhaps it takes more antagonism between a parent and child to push girls into serious delinquency, while their involvement in minor delinquency reflects more of a pull from their friends,” she said.

Haynie said the results show how biological and sociological factors in adolescents interact to put some girls at higher risk for involvement in delinquency.

“Biology does not provide a direct route to delinquency. In this case, there is a biological characteristic – early puberty – that seems to place girls in social contexts where delinquency is more likely,” Haynie said. “Other studies have shown the connection between early puberty and delinquency, and this study is helping to account for that association.”

But why would early development affect these social contexts?
While this study can’t directly answer these questions, Haynie said it may be that the visible physical changes in appearance that result from puberty may signal to the girls themselves and others that they are ready for adult-like roles.

“When adolescents enter puberty, they are looking for more adult roles and it may be that dating and finding friends who are involved in delinquency are ways they can satisfy their desire to me more like adults,” she said.

Girls who are undergoing early physical maturity may also feel they are ready for more adult roles and rebel against parental restrictions that they feel are too strict, she said.

The problem, Haynie said, is that early-developing girls are experiencing the pressures of puberty at such a young age that they may not yet be emotionally and psychologically prepared.

“Unfortunately, dating and involvement in minor delinquency have been shown to be especially detrimental to adolescents engaging in the behaviors at very young ages,” she said.


Contact: Dana Haynie, (614) 247-7260; Haynie.7@osu.edu
Written by Jeff Grabmeier, (614) 292-8457; Grabmeier.1@osu.edu

Jeff Grabmeier | OSU
Further information:
http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/earlypub.htm
http://www.sociology.ohio-state.edu/cjrc/bios/haynie.html
http://www.sociology.ohio-state.edu/

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht Lying in a foreign language is easier
19.07.2018 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

nachricht Engineering cooperation
05.07.2018 | Institute of Science and Technology Austria

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Future electronic components to be printed like newspapers

A new manufacturing technique uses a process similar to newspaper printing to form smoother and more flexible metals for making ultrafast electronic devices.

The low-cost process, developed by Purdue University researchers, combines tools already used in industry for manufacturing metals on a large scale, but uses...

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

A smart safe rechargeable zinc ion battery based on sol-gel transition electrolytes

20.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Reversing cause and effect is no trouble for quantum computers

20.07.2018 | Information Technology

Princeton-UPenn research team finds physics treasure hidden in a wallpaper pattern

20.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>