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ERIC Number: EJ1051795
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Nov
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0012-1649
Delinquency and Peer Acceptance in Adolescence: A Within-Person Test of Moffitt's Hypotheses
Rulison, Kelly L.; Kreager, Derek A.; Osgood, D. Wayne
Developmental Psychology, v50 n11 p2437-2448 Nov 2014
We tested 2 hypotheses derived from Moffitt's (1993) taxonomic theory of antisocial behavior, both of which are central to her explanation for the rise in delinquency during adolescence. We tested whether persistently delinquent individuals become more accepted by their peers during adolescence and whether individuals who abstain from delinquent behavior become less accepted. Participants were 4,359 adolescents from 14 communities in the PROSPER study, which assessed friendship networks and delinquency from 6th (M = 11.8 years) to 9th (M = 15.3 years) grade. We operationalized peer acceptance as number of nominations received (indegree centrality), attractiveness as a friend (adjusted indegree centrality), and network bridging potential (betweenness centrality) and tested the hypotheses with multilevel modeling. Contrary to Moffitt's hypothesis, persistently delinquent youths did not become more accepted between early and middle adolescence, and although abstainers were less accepted in early adolescence, they became more accepted over time. Results were similar for boys and girls; when differences occurred, they provided no support for Moffitt's hypotheses for boys and were opposite of her hypotheses for girls. Sensitivity analyses in which alternative strategies and additional data were used to identify persistently delinquent adolescents produced similar results. We explore the implications of these results for Moffitt's assertions that social mimicry of persistently antisocial adolescents leads to increases in delinquency and that social isolation leads to abstention.
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Grade 6; Intermediate Grades; Middle Schools; Elementary Education; Grade 7; Junior High Schools; Secondary Education; Grade 8; Grade 9; High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Institute on Drug Abuse (DHHS/PHS); Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) (NIH); National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIH)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Iowa; Pennsylvania
Grant or Contract Numbers: R01-DA018225; F31-DA-024497; R24-HD041025; RO1-DA013709; AA14702