Development and Psychopathology, 11 (1999), 101–126 Copyright © 1999 Cambridge University Press Printed in the United States of America

Developmental pathways to antisocial behavior: The delayed-onset pathway in girls

University of Alabama



Abstract Recent research has suggested that there are two distinct trajectories for the development of antisocial behavior in boys: a childhood-onset pathway and an adolescent-onset pathway. After reviewing the limited available research on antisocial girls, we propose that this influential method of conceptualizing the development of severe antisocial behavior may not apply to girls without some important modifications. Antisocial girls appear to show many of the correlates that have been associated with the childhood-onset pathway in boys, and they tend to show impaired adult adjustment, which is also similar to boys in the childhood-onset pathway. However, antisocial girls typically show an adolescent-onset to their antisocial behavior. We have proposed that these girls show a third developmental pathway which we have labeled the “delayed-onset” pathway. This model rests on the assumption that many of the putative pathogenic mechanisms that contribute to the development of antisocial behavior in girls, such as cognitive and neuropsychological deficits, a dysfunctional family environment, and/or the presence of a callous and unemotional interpersonal style, may be present in childhood, but they do not lead to severe and overt antisocial behavior until adolescence. Therefore, we propose that the delayed-onset pathway for girls is analogous to the childhood-onset pathway in boys and that there is no analogous pathway in girls to the adolescent-onset pathway in boys. Although this model clearly needs to be tested in future research, it highlights the need to test the applicability of current theoretical models for explaining the development of antisocial behavior in girls.

There is no shortage of statistics to underscore the pressing need to gain a better understanding of the development of severe antisocial behavior in youth. The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) reports that juvenile violent crime arrests have increased 100% between 1983 and 1992, and the OJJDP estimates that juvenile crime will more than double again by the year 2010 (Snyder & Sickmund, 1995). In general, more boys than girls commit crimes at a ratio of about 3.9 : 1 (Butts et al., 1995). Boys outnumber girls within the psychiatric literature as well, with a male:female ratio of Conduct Disorder of about 4 : 1 (Cohen et al., 1993;

Persephanie Silverthorn is now with the Department of Psychology, University of North Texas. Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Persephanie Silverthorn, Department of Psychology, University of North Texas, P.O. Box 311280, Denton, TX 76203; E-mail:

Shaffer et al., 1995). Despite the unequal rate at which boys and girls commit crimes, both sexes are contributing to the escalating crime rate. Between 1988 and 1992, the number of juvenile offenders seen in court for all delinquent acts rose 26% for boys and 27% for girls. For status offenses, the increase was 17% for boys and 20% for girls (Butts et al.). Therefore, while clearly remaining below the prevalence found in boys, the absolute number of severely antisocial girls is rapidly increasing, along with the associated costs to society which result from the behaviors of these girls. Unfortunately, despite the increasing rate of severe antisocial behavior in girls, much of the research in both the delinquency and psychiatric literature on severe antisocial behavior has focused almost exclusively on boys. Little attention has been paid to the similarities and differences in the development of antisocial behavior in girls and boys. Recently, a compelling theoretical model



P. Silverthorn and P. J. Frick

for explaining the development of antisocial behavior in boys has been developed, which proposes that antisocial behavior in boys emerges from distinctive combinations of individual characteristics and environmental factors, known as pathways. In this article, we start by providing a brief overview of this multiple pathway model. We believe that this will offer a theoretical framework within which to interpret girls’ antisocial behaviors. We then review the available, albeit quite limited, literature on antisocial behavior in girls. Based on this review, we suggest that there is sufficient reason to question the applicability of the multiple pathway model in explaining the development of antisocial behavior in girls. We propose that several important modifications in the theoretical model need to be considered to explain the existing research on antisocial girls and to guide future research on the development of severe antisocial behavior in girls. Developmental Trajectories to Antisocial Behavior in Boys Overview of the theoretical model There have been several highly influential articles that have described the development of severe antisocial behavior through at least two distinct developmental trajectories: one in which the onset of severe antisocial behavior begins in childhood and the second in which the onset of severe antisocial behavior coincides with the onset of adolescence (Hinshaw, Lahey, & Hart, 1993; Moffitt, 1993a). To illustrate the strong influence that this method of conceptualizing antisocial behavior has had on the field, the most recent version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV; American Psychiatric Association, 1994) has adopted this approach as part of its nomenclature for distinguishing subtypes of Conduct Disorder (i.e., Childhood-Onset Type, Adolescent Onset Type). One of the major reasons that this method of conceptualizing severe antisocial behavior has been so influential is that it has proven to have great predictive utility. That is, longitudinal studies have consistently shown that one

of the best predictors of which children with severe antisocial behavior are most likely to continue to show antisocial behavior into adulthood is the onset of severe conduct problems prior to adolescence (e.g., Frick & Loney, in press; Loeber, 1991; Robins, 1966). However, in addition to the predictive utility of this model, it has the potential for guiding our understanding of different causal pathways to the development of severe antisocial behavior. This relevance to a causal theory is exemplified by the work of Moffitt and colleagues (Moffitt, 1993a; Moffitt, Caspi, Dickson, Silva, & Stanton, 1996). These authors have outlined numerous differential correlates to the two patterns of behavior, and they have weaved these divergent sets of correlates into a theoretical model that proposes separate causal mechanisms for the two developmental pathways. In Table 1, we summarize the results of Moffitt’s work, highlighting both the divergent correlates and the hypothesized divergent causal mechanisms that have been proposed to account for these correlates. One difference between children in the two pathways is that children in the childhood-onset group are characterized by markedly more aggression than children in the adolescent-onset group, which may be a central factor leading to the continuity of the antisocial behavior for children in the former pathway (Roff & Wirt, 1984; Stattin & Magnusson, 1984). Also, children with the childhood-onset pattern of behavior tend to follow a particular developmental progression of conduct problem behaviors in which less severe oppositional, negative, and argumentative behaviors are present very early in a child’s development, preceding the more severe aggressive and antisocial behaviors (see also Hinshaw et al., 1993; Lahey & Loeber, 1994). In contrast, this developmental sequence does not appear to be as common for boys with an adolescentonset to their antisocial behavior (Moffitt et al., 1996). Furthermore, the childhood-onset group is characterized by having higher rates of cognitive/neuropsychological dysfunction, such as having low intelligence (especially on measures of verbal intelligence and indices of executive functioning and planning abilities) and having a much higher rate of Attention-

. In the childhood-onset group. yet tend to reject traditional status hierarchies and religious rules (Moffitt et al. . In contrast. 1993a. a high rate of family conflict. high rates of prevent child from learning prosocial neuropsychological dysfunction. using a fake ID. Patterson.. including relatively minor status offenses such as drinking alcohol. Moffitt reasons that some level of antisocial behavior is almost normative in adolescence. 1994). 1994. callous. Moffitt et al. teenage parenthood. the process involves the “juxtaposition of a vulnerable and difficult infant with an adverse rearing context that initiates ..Delayed-onset pathway 103 Table 1. which in turn leads him to “become ensnared by the consequences of a lifelong pattern of antisocial behavior (e. drug abuse. and become ensnared in consequences of high rates of family dysfunction his/her antisocial behavior Adolescent-onset Endorses a rebellious personality style Exaggeration of natural rebellious that rejects traditional status hierarchies process set up by maturity gap and religious values and endorses between biological/cognitive maturity acceptance of experimentation with and societal acceptance of adult status drugs and alcohol Note: This summary is based on the work of Moffitt and colleagues (Moffitt. 683). school drop out. Summary of Moffitt’s theoretical model to explain differential correlates to two developmental trajectories to antisocial behavior Developmental Trajectory Childhood-onset Differential Correlates Proposed Mechanism High rates of physical aggression. children with the childhood-onset pattern of antisocial behavior seem to come from much more dysfunctional family environments. The two patterns of antisocial behavior also appear to be associated with different personality traits. children showing the adolescent-onset pattern seem to desire more close relationships with others. a cold interactional skills and leads child to and callous interpersonal style. 1993a. 1992). characterized by a high rate of parental psychopathology. In a community sample of youth in New Zealand. however. and the use of dysfunctional parenting practices than children with an adolescentonset (see also Frick. poor work histories. p. 1993b). As illustrated in Table 1. 1986).). Loeber & Stouthamer–Loeber.. 683). is the clear specification of different processes involved in the adolescent-onset pattern of antisocial behavior.g.g. and suspicious interpersonal style (Moffitt et al. only 7% of males reported engaging in no delinquent or illegal activities. This normative pattern of behavior is viewed as being a reaction to the “maturity gap” that has been created in many industrial- . & Dishion. (Krueger et al.. 1996). What is unique to this theoretical model. Reid. 682). Moffitt and colleagues have taken these divergent sets of correlates and proposed the operation of two distinct causal mechanisms to account for these correlates. 1996). alienated. Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) than children with the adolescent-onset pattern of behavior (see also Moffitt. criminal record) which further narrow the options for conventional behavior” (Moffitt. p.. early Transactional process of child with onset of negative and argumentative difficult temperament evoking series behavior that precedes more severe of failed parent–child encounters that antisocial behavior. In addition. etc. This transactional model outlined by Moffitt (1993a) to explain the childhood-onset pattern of behavior is not very different from the transactional models used by other authors to explain the development of antisocial behavior in children (e. The childhood-onset group shows a personality profile characterized by impulsive and impetuous behavior and a cold. a transactional process in which the challenge of cop- ing with a difficult child evokes a chain of failed parent–child encounters” (Moffitt. This transactional process leads a child to “miss out on opportunities to acquire and practice prosocial patterns of behavior” (p.

adolescents with this pattern of behavior are likely to have a rebellious personality style that makes them more likely to have an exaggeration of the normal development process outlined above.104 P. Also. Lochman. Silverthorn and P. This group shows a high rate of severe antisocial behavior that operates at a high cost to society and results in significant impairment to the adolescents showing this behavior (e. It is clear that the rate and severity of the antisocial behavior exhibited by children in the adolescent-onset pattern of behavior is not normative. The severity of their behavior is partly a result of this personality predisposition and partly a form of “social mimicry” in which the antisocial behavior mimics the behavior of adolescents from the childhood-onset group in a misguided attempt to gain a sense of maturity (Moffitt.. in a longitudinal study of a birth cohort from New Zealand. Moffitt and colleagues found that only 54% of the 59 children who met criteria for a childhood-onset pattern of antisocial behavior showed “persistent antisocial behavior. is that it treats the childhood-onset pathway as a homogeneous group. This process provides a rationale for why this group may be less likely to continue their antisocial behavior into adulthood. Specifically. 1994). 1996). Specifically. Moffitt et al. One of its clear strengths is that it explicitly recognizes the possibility that there may be multiple causal pathways to the development of severe patterns of antisocial behavior. and hyperactive behaviors. Moffitt et al. it incorporates the important predictive utility of this distinction. the major motivation underlying the antisocial behavior is no longer present. which by definition are illegal only because they are committed by a minor. however. he proposed that these children may show certain cognitive (e. Frick ized societies in which there is a 5 to 10 year span between biological/cognitive maturity and socially accepted adult status. Extensions of the basic model As with any theoretical model. poor parental monitoring was more strongly associated with the development of aggressive behavior in highly active children than in children with a low activity level. yet are denied adult status and activities until age 18 or 21 years. Furthermore. frontal lobe deficits) and motivational (e. this extension of the model could also account for the higher rates of family dysfunction in children with a childhood-onset of antisocial behavior. Colder. One of its weaknesses.g. there may be important and meaningful subgroups. Although Moffitt alluded to subgroups within the childhood-onset pathway based on executive function deficits and attention problems (Moffitt.g. This suggests that even within the childhood-onset group. Engaging in status offenses.. impulsive.g. and Wells (1997) reported that highly active children were more susceptible to the influences of dysfunctional parenting practices than low active children. In addition to accounting for the higher rate of ADHD in children with a childhood-onset pattern of antisocial behavior. For example. For example. Once societal acceptance of adult status is achieved. J.” which spanned across the childhood and adolescent years (Moffitt et al.. it is Lynam (1996) who clearly suggested that it may be the inattentive. this two pathway model has both strengths and weaknesses in its ability to explain the development of severe antisocial behavior.. engenders feelings of independence and “adulthood” for the average adolescent. 1993a). teens develop fully physically mature bodies as early as ages 12 or 13 years. Lynam reviewed research showing that the presence of these behaviors predicted a more serious and chronic pattern of antisocial behavior. However.’s (1996) longitudinal study suggests the possibility of another unique subgroup of children who show the childhood- . poor response modulation) deficits that suggest that the etiology of their conduct problems may be different from other children and may make them more analogous to adults with Antisocial Personality Disorder (APD). the symptom domains associated with a diagnosis of ADHD.. and it explains the many divergent correlates to the two patterns of behavior. that may designate an important subgroup of children within the childhood-onset group. 1996). and there is growing evidence that this may not be warranted.

These include the presence of . This distinction sets the stage for even more refined analyses within these pathways. they serve to illustrate two important points. Frick. and had a stronger family history of parental APD. & Harpur. poor response modulation.Delayed-onset pathway 105 onset pattern of antisocial behavior... 1993). almost all of whom had a substantial number of ADHD symptoms. 1995. one of the ways in which children who exhibited persistent antisocial behavior differed from other children in the childhood-onset group was on the presence of a cold and callous interpersonal style. Wootton et al. 1997). the presence of callous unemotional traits have designated children with conduct problems who show a reward dominant response style (O’Brien & Frick. Children with conduct problems who also showed callous unemotional traits exhibited greater numbers of conduct problems. and Frazer (1997) identified a cluster of children who had severe conduct problems who also showed high rates of callous unemotional traits and a cluster of children with severe conduct problems without these traits. it is important to note that the research by Lynam (1996) and Frick and colleagues have attempted to extend the typology of Conduct Disorder beyond the basic distinction between the childhood-onset and adolescent-onset trajectories. 1991. In this study. Loeber. all factors that have been associated with poor long term outcome in past longitudinal research (see Frick & Loney. Frick. conduct problems seem to be related to a deficit in behavior inhibition that makes them susceptible to the development of a callous and unemotional interpersonal style (Kochanska. Shelton. Frick. they demonstrate the great influence that the two-trajectory model has had in guiding research on the development of conduct problems. 1993) which in turn leads them to ignore societal and/or parental norms and makes them more likely to violate the rights of others (Frick. Second. had more contact with the police. The paper by Lynam (1996) and the series of studies by Frick and colleagues (Christian et al. Tyler. Importantly.. in press. 1964. Lahey et al. in these children. lack of empathy. 1994. The two-trajectory model has provided an important starting point for refining our study of the development of antisocial behavior by distinguishing between two somewhat distinct causal pathways. In a clinic-referred sample of children (n = 120. Although Moffitt and colleagues have acknowledged the presence of callous and unemotional traits in adulthood for those in the childhood-onset group (e. abnormal processing of affective stimuli) that could suggest a separate etiology (see Hare. Christian. 1997. 1997) and dysfunctional parenting practices (Wootton. Hill. ages 6–13 years). Hare. 1993).g.g. First. 1996). Thus.. suggesting that it may designate children with different causal factors underlying their antisocial behavior. Moffitt.. lack of guilt. Hart. exhibited more varied conduct problems. Moffitt et al. these extensions of the basic model highlight some of the key correlates to the childhood-onset pathway that are likely to be important in any adequate causal theory. lower anxiety. nor have they elucidated the presence of subgroups in the childhood-onset group. Although these proposals are in their infancy and require much further testing. 1991). Newman & Wallace. studies in adults have suggested that the presence of these traits in antisocial adults lead to a more violent and persistent pattern of antisocial behavior and a group of antisocial adults who have unique correlates (e. In other studies from this research group. 1996) and in whom their antisocial behavior is unrelated to intelligence (Christian et al. they have not emphasized the presence of these traits in childhood. 1996) suggest that even within the childhoodonset trajectory to antisocial behavior there may be multiple causal pathways. in press). in press). Frick and colleagues have reported a series of studies that suggest an analogous subgroup of children may exist within children who show the childhood-onset pattern of conduct problems that are distinguished by the presence of callous and unemotional traits (Frick.. and shallow emotions (Cleckley. & Silverthorn. in press. This finding is analogous to studies of antisocial adults in which there is a subgroup of adults with APD who show “psychopathic traits” which are characterized by such personality features as egocentricity. Specifically.

. however. 1993a) and extended (Frick.. however. Lynam. This decrease appears to be due to the marked increase in the number of girls engaging in antisocial behaviors in adolescence combined with a much less striking increase in the rate of antisocial behavior in boys. 1993. what has been missing to this point in the basic two-trajectory model and the attempts to refine and extend it. Caspi & Moffitt. Prevalence of Antisocial Behavior in Girls Developmental variations in the gender ratio of severe antisocial behavior The main reason usually cited for the scarcity of studies investigating antisocial behavior in girls is that there are fewer delinquent and antisocial girls than boys (e. Moffitt. As noted in the beginning of the paper. is an answer to the question of whether these lines of research would apply equally well to the development of antisocial behavior in girls. Interestingly. American Psychiatric Association. in a large epidemiological study in Canada. Caspi.. & Silva. For example.. The male : female ratio for severe conduct problems decreased from 2. 1991). Adler.. 1986. Robins (1966) located adults who had been referred to a child guidance clinic in the late 1920’s to determine .g. Silverthorn and P. 1993. 1996) has been based on exclusively or predominantly male samples.. boys showed significantly higher rates of both nonaggressive and aggressive antisocial behaviors. the reported rate for Conduct Disorder in children ages 4–11 years was 6. 1995). & Anderson. nonaggressive conduct and oppositional disorders” for girls (McGee et al.. much of the research on which this model was developed (Moffitt. cognitive impairments).1% for girls (Offord. 1994). a more detailed picture of this change in prevalence is obtained when the different types of antisocial behaviors were studied.. this overall ratio hides several important developmental differences in the sex ratio. Offord. 57).106 P. poor impulse control. 1994). Shaffer et al.g. 1997) reported that during the first 5 years of life.4% for boys and 4. 1992. for children ages 12–16 years.6 : 1 at age 11 years to 0. There is a general assumption that it would (e. the presence of dysfunctional family environments. after age 4 years.8% for girls. the rate was 10. the rate of nonaggressive symptoms was almost indistinguishable between boys and girls. who reported on a large birth cohort followed longitudinally in New Zealand (McGee. 1991. in press.. Numerous studies have also noted that the sex ratio between girls and boys narrows in adolescence (e. there are almost no sex differences between boys and girls in most types of behavioral dysfunction. 1995. A recent review paper (Keenan & Shaw. However. p. leading to the male predominance of behavioral problems (including conduct problems) throughout much of childhood. In the next section..7 : 1 at age 15 years.g.5% for boys and 1. 1991). However. & Racine. This striking change in the sex ratio was mainly due to a “marked increase in . and the presence of a cold and callous interpersonal style. These results suggest that the reason for the decreased sex ratio in adolescence is primarily due to a large increase in nonaggressive antisocial behaviors by girls. Feehan. the rate of girls’ behavior problems decreases while the rate of behavioral problems for boys either increases or stays at the same rate. whereas the rate of aggressive symptoms remained much greater in boys (Offord et al. the juvenile delinquency literature and the psychiatric literature both report that the ratio of severely antisocial boys to girls is approximately 4 : 1 (Butts et al. In the adolescent age group. In the young age group. Boyle. Robins. For example. 1986. 1992). . Other researchers have found that the decrease in the male : female ratio for antisocial behaviors in adolescence appears to be due to girls beginning their offending at an older age. J. & Boyle. Lynam. we review the available literature on antisocial behavior in girls with the goal of determining whether or not the literature supports extending this theoretical framework to girls. Similar results were obtained by McGee and colleagues.g. 1986). Williams. Frick cognitive/neuropsychological dysfunction (e. However. However. Cohen et al. Moffitt.

For example.g. Crick and colleagues have found that boys tend to show much more verbal (e. during childhood. but not age 10 years. These developmental changes in the prevalence rates of conduct problems for boys and girls need to be explained in any theoretical model of the development of conduct problems for girls. but the increase is most striking for girls and for the prevalence of nonaggressive conduct problems. First. although girls show an “antisocial trait” at the same rate as boys. She found that females with APD as adults had a modal age-of-onset of 14 years or older. Warren and Rosenbaum (1986) found that girls committed to the California Youth Authority between the years 1961 and 1969 had an average age-of-onset of 14 years. Second. This possibility is based on research showing that somatization disorder and APD have a familial link. Other authors have proposed even more dramatic differences in how antisocial tendencies may be manifested in girls. 1987. 1984. the manifestation of this trait differs in either type of rate of behaviors compared to boys.Delayed-onset pathway 107 their adult outcome. threatening others) and physical (e. Crick & Grotpeter. Specifically. 1993). spreading rumors about children to have them rejected by others) (Crick. 16). such as through the display of somatization symptoms (Lillienfeld.9/1000 at age 12 years (Butts et al. Third. p. the rate of behavioral problems in general. whereas males with adult APD had a modal age-of-onset of 9 years of age. with approximately 66% having had their first recorded offense between 13 and 15 years (Warren & Rosenbaum).9/1000 at age 10 years to 9.g. & Cotter. this explanation proposes that. They concluded that “the difference . decreases for girls but not for boys. which have led to arguments for the use of same-sexed norms in judging the severity of antisocial behaviors (Zoccolillo. 1992 data on delinquency rates across the United States show that the rate of female delinquency jumps dramatically from 1. Each of these arguments makes the basic assumption that if sex-specific criteria were used to assess for the presence of the antiso- . Frick. . 1995).g. Still other authors have proposed that it may not be the type of behaviors that are different in boys and girls. Kuper. whereas girls show more relational aggression (e.. 1995. Such an explanation does not follow directly from the two-trajectory model or its extensions that were discussed previously. excluding children from play groups. The studies of the prevalence of antisocial behavior in girls can be summarized as follows. .. with men who show APD having a high rate of somatization in their female children and women with somatization disorder having a high rate of APD or Conduct Disorder in their male children (Cloninger & Gottesman. 1995). there appears to be few sex differences in behavioral problems during the first 5 years of life. and conduct problems in particular. Stattin and Magnusson (1984).). the aggressiveness scores did differ at age 13 years. in their longitudinal study of Swedish children. leading to a markedly discrepant male : female ratio through much of this developmental period. however. scores at age 13 years. This leads to a notable narrowing of the male : female ratio in adolescent samples. but it may simply be the rate and severity of behaviors that differentiate boys and girls with the antisocial trait. predicted adult criminality.1/1000 at age 12 years (Butts et al. Finally. Silverthorn. suggests that aggressive behavior starts to become predictive not until girls generally reach puberty” (Stattin & Magnusson. These ratios can be compared to the rate for boys at 10. 1992). found that delinquent girls did not differ from controls on measures of aggression at age 10 years. Furthermore. hitting or pushing others) aggression than girls. Explanations for changes in prevalence across development There have been numerous attempts to explain the finding that girls tend to exhibit lower rates of antisocial behavior in the elementary school-age years... In addition. One common explanation is that this finding is an erroneous conclusion drawn from inadequate and inappropriate measurement.5/1000 at age 10 years and 36. 1995). severe conduct problems increase for both boys and girls in adolescence.

any explanation for the differences in prevalence of antisocial behavior between girls and boys through childhood must also explain why the ratio is different at various stages of development. at least in adults. There is some preliminary evidence that. 1997. A variety of studies using court records. shoplifting and truancy at ten. such as in preschool and again in adolescence... such as conduct disorders. public order disturbances (17%). arrests. Keenan & Shaw. one would expect that girls who show relational aggression or who show non-normative levels of antisocial behavior relative to other girls but not relative to boys would show similar correlates (e. Both biological factors and socialization factors have been proposed to explain these differences. Frick cial trait. Robins (1986) using self-report data. A second limitation with the explanation that the lower prevalence of antisocial behavior in childhood is solely due to incorrect measurement practices is that there are very limited data to suggest that the use of other measurement approaches. such as use of relational aggression or measurements based on sex-specific norms. 12). the construct validity of alternative methods of assessing the antisocial trait in girls has not been well established. this assumption fails to adequately explain why some girls do engage in similar antisocial behaviors as boys. the two models pose different reasons as to why this might . The explanations for the male predominance of antisocial behaviors through much of childhood discussed thus far have focused on the possibility that differences in prevalence rates are largely due to inappropriate measurement of these behaviors in girls. 1995). Gualtieri & Hicks.g. she has a more severe manifestation of the disorder. Eme summarized two theoretical models that can explain male-dominated psychiatric disorders. “biting and hitting at age four. The most common reasons for referral were almost identical for boys: property offenses (57%).. and self-report measures indicates that juvenile crime is increasing proportionately for both boys and girls. dysfunctional family backgrounds) as boys with severe conduct problems. some researchers have proposed that there are true differences in the prevalence of the antisocial trait in girls and boys (e. In fact. For example. and the apparent re-emergence of these behaviors at age 14 years. Unfortunately. the rank ordering of the most common antisocial behaviors was nearly identical for boys and girls. person offenses (20%). women with somatization symptoms show high rates of sensation seeking behavior similar to men with antisocial behavior patterns (Frick et al. the most common types of offenses are very similar between boys and girls. with this notable exception. 1994. this concept does not explain the presence of antisocial behaviors in girls at age 4 years. when a girl has a predominately male disorder. the explanation that the male predominance of antisocial behaviors during much of childhood is solely due to inadequate measurement also does not explain well the changes in prevalence rates across development. would tap the same construct or trait currently measured as antisocial behavior in boys. However. Zahn–Waxler. 1992. As examples of biological explanations. and drug offenses (5%). J. and drug offenses (3%) (Butts et al. Similarly. p. there would be an equal prevalence of the trait for boys and girls across development. Third. 1990) describes how an underlying trait may be manifested in different overt behaviors at different stages of development.108 P. 1985. 1995).. While the notion of “heterotypic continuity” (Rutter. robbery and rape at 22. person offenses (23%). in 1992 the most common reasons for referral to juvenile court for female offenders were property offenses (57%). 1993). the absence of these behaviors at age 8 years. These findings would support the contention that they are measuring a similar trait. family histories of antisocial behavior. For example. Eme. for example. First. Both models assume that. However. because of the limitations of this explanation. found that although girls engaged in antisocial behaviors less often than boys. public order disturbances (18%). However. selling drugs and stealing cars at 16.g. there are three important issues that limit the viability of this basic assumption. with the exception of violent crime. and fraud and child abuse at 30” (Moffitt. As we attempt to do in the model outlined below. Silverthorn and P.

& Thome. Some key findings from this research are reviewed in the following section. Keenan & Shaw. it would be more likely to be associated with severe neurological insult leading to a more severe manifestation of the disorder. Thus.” and a disorder is only shown when the liability crosses a certain threshold. 1985. 1983). we draw on many features of the models discussed in this section that. Zahn–Waxler points out that in most cultures. several studies that reported that mothers encouraged more prosocial and internalizing behaviors (e. The second model. shyness) in their school-aged daughters but not in their sons. Ounsted & Taylor.g. 1996. 1986). Specifically. As a result. to date there has not been a compelling model to explain both the male predominance of severe antisocial behaviors throughout much of childhood and the changes in the sex ratio across development. 1972). are less susceptible to minor biological trauma in early development.. have a lower threshold requiring less liability. 101). boys develop more slowly than girls. they proposed that the decline in externalizing behavior problems after the preschool years for girls could be because such behavior is “channeled into predominately internalizing problems as a result of socialization” (p. have proven inadequate to explain the change in overt antisocial behaviors for girls over the course of their development. in isolation. In this model. we offer such a developmental explanation. 1977. As a result. in this case girls.Delayed-onset pathway 109 occur.. Parke & Slaby. Characteristics of Girls with Severe Conduct Problems There are two primary bodies of research that provide data on the characteristics of severely antisocial girls: the juvenile delinquency literature and the psychiatric literature.g. Bettencourt & Miller. and have less genetic material transcribed. 1993). it primarily accounts for the changes in prevalence from the preschool to school-aged years and does not provide a compelling rationale for why the prevalence and sex ratio again changes in adolescence. and in fact. In support of this proposal. For example. Zahn–Waxler. There have also been numerous explanations for the male predominance of antisocial behavior in childhood that have posited a major role of socialization (e. a disorder may be less prevalent in girls because the trait is subject to more genetic variability in boys. 1972. we attempt to integrate findings from the existing literature on the individual and environmental characteristics of girls who show severe antisocial behavior. the polygenetic multiple-threshold model. they both assume that the differences do in fact exist. However. Keenan and Shaw proposed that differences in socialization could account for some of the changes in prevalence in conduct problems across development for girls. These two lines of research have tended to follow some- . develop more quickly than boys. Also. in developing this model. whereas those who manifest the disorder less often. the constitutional variability model. posits that during prenatal development. When it does occur in girls. The first model. making them biologically immature longer and more susceptible to biological insults. Girls. Taylor & Ounsted. 1997.g. in this case boys. girls would be predicted to show a higher genetic loading for the disorder and a more severe manifestation of the disorder when it is shown (Cloninger & Gottesman. require a greater liability to cross the threshold. 1987). Those who show the disorder more often.. In addition. on the other hand. This model proposed by Keenan and Shaw (1997) is the first model which has attempted to account for some of the changes in prevalence rates in conduct problems across development for girls. In the model we outline below. posits that genetic (and environmental) factors combine to form a “liability. among other data. Macaulay. Frodi. and allowing for a greater amount of genetic information to be transcribed (Gualtieri & Hicks. girls are not expected to engage in aggression and antisocial behavior. they reviewed. girls reportedly suffer from more “aggression anxiety” and guilt when they do behave aggressively (e. although these two models offer different explanatory mechanisms to explain the differential prevalence in psychiatric disorders. Therefore. are actively discouraged from behaving against societal norms (see also Maccoby.

Viale–Val & Sylvester. Abrams. 1979). or inadequate comparison groups. 1995). 1989). and school achievement (Offord et al. Henry. they had mothers with more maternal psychiatric illnesses than did nondelinquent girls matched for age. Of 159 adolescent girls who were committed to the California Youth Authority in the 1960s and for whom records were available (out of 240 originally placed). with 64% of female delinquents reporting that a relative had been incarcerated. however. IQ. Robins. 1989). 1989). Silverthorn and P. 1993. 1979. Allen. Offord. 37% had mothers who were charged with abuse and neglect and 67% of these girls were removed from their homes and placed in foster care (Rosenbaum. descriptive profiles. Many researchers have concluded that not only do antisocial girls.g. Frick what divergent paths.. other more serious family dysfunction has been reported for antisocial girls. Family dysfunction and severely antisocial girls The first consistent theme in this literature is that antisocial girls. nearly all of the relevant studies are flawed in some way. come from very adverse and dysfunctional familial backgrounds (e. both offender groups scored lower on measures of family cohesion and family adaptability than the nonoffender group (Sprengelmeyer & Borduin. irrespective of the type of antisocial behaviors exhibited. 34% of biological fathers were reported to be alcoholic and 29% were “neurotic or psychotic”. One study in particular found that 97% of incarcerated female delinquents came from non-intact families (Rosenbaum). Similar findings were reported by Bergsmann (1989). whereas the psychiatric literature has been mostly epidemiological and adolescent/adult outcome studies. but also that the backgrounds of female delin- . the information must be interpreted very cautiously and much more rigorous research is needed on girls with conduct disorders. Calhoun.110 P. one study of female delinquents on probation found that. Family psychopathology also appears to be high for girls with antisocial behavior.g. Recorded reports from parole officers indicated that 53% of the fathers (when present) and 47% of the mothers were viewed as “rejecting. regardless of the type of crime committed. & Silva. respectively (Rosenbaum. tend to have extremely negative family histories. Earls. Rosenbaum. inadequate measures. in a small sample of incarcerated female delinquents (n = 21). and female nonoffenders (n = 23). she found a noticeable presence of familial criminality: A startling 76% had at least one family member with a previous arrest. and 32% had a biological mother who has been arrested. Together. as many as 86% had suffered from severe physical punishment (Widom. J. In a study comparing assaultive female offenders (n = 23). The juvenile delinquency literature has been mostly a presentation of delinquency statistics. 30% had a biological father with an arrest record. nonassaultive female offenders (n = 27). Unfortunately. & Poushinsky. For example. 1991). For girls committed to the California Youth Authority. 1993.” A review of the relationship between child abuse and neglect and adolescent delinquency found that among incarcerated girls. whether it be inadequate sample size. 1989)... despite their later age of onset.. Overall. Jurgens. they provide useful information on the characteristics of girls with severe conduct problems. In addition. However. Moffitt. and/or summaries of adult outcomes. In Rosenbaum’s (1989) investigation of incarcerated female delinquents. 54% of girls had at least one parent diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder and only 20% of girls came from homes that were “clear” from mental illness or family dysfunction. The most frequent finding for female delinquents is that they tend to originate from non-intact families with a history of numerous parental changes (e. Therefore. Other studies have found that the rate of parental mental illness is higher in the families of antisocial girls. a full 90% came from violent and abusive households (Lewis et al. 1993. Warren. For example. & Chen. a review of this literature suggests that four main themes consistently emerge from these studies that are relevant for developing a model to explain the development of antisocial behavior in girls. rates for mothers were 31% and 27%. 1986).

41% had dropped out of school per- manently. 50% had been arrested or were on probation.. Robins’ (1966) longitudinal study of adults who had been referred to a child guidance clinic in the late 1920s found that an adult diagnosis of Sociopathic Personality (SO) was found in 17% of the girls referred for conduct problems. 1992. and the presence of numerous behaviors characteristic of an unstable and chaotic lifestyle. Also. there was only a 5% chance that she would offend in adulthood (Stattin & Magnusson. and female well-adjusted (n = 8 per group). adolescent girls are often compared to heterogeneous male samples. Viale–Val & Sylvester. drug and alcohol addiction. 1996). of the girls that were diagnosed with conduct problems prior to age 18 years. if a girl was rated as normally aggressive at age 13 years. Zoccolillo and Rogers (1991) presented outcome data for a sample of girls with Conduct Disorder 2 to 4 years after their admission to a psychiatric hospital. more than half of the girls with a history of conduct problems had a psychiatric illness which necessitated inpatient or outpatient treatment. Werner (1987).. 1993. which according to Moffitt (1993a). Calhoun et al. For example. male well-adjusted. even as few as two antisocial symptoms in childhood were associated with a negative . The authors report that Conduct Disorder predated the pregnancy in every case. Warren. female delinquent. Similarly. In addition. are likely comprised of boys with a childhood-onset to their antisocial behavior (who tend to have greater familial dysfunction) and boys with an adolescent-onset to their behavior (who tend to have less family dysfunction). Krol. Although the initial contact occurred when the girls were between the ages of 8 and 13 years. found that at age 18 years. This is weak support given the small number of subjects and the limited number of significant findings. Eme. Henggeler et al. Edwards.6 times more likely to have a diagnosable disorder at age 21 years than were controls without a diagnosis at age 15 years. few differences in family dysfunction are found between girls and boys with conduct problems (e. 75% of repeat offenders had been highly aggressive at age 13 years. The girls had been admitted to the hospital when they were aged 13 to 16 years. using data from a large longitudinal study. Two to 4 years later. Kovacs.. Moffitt. nearly 60% experienced a teenage pregnancy.g. In addition. For example. and Caspi (1997) reported that girls diagnosed with Conduct Disorder at age 15 years were 2. (1987) found that there was more mother–child conflict/hostility in the families of female delinquents than in those of male delinquents. this and other studies which report that the families of female delinquents are more dysfunctional than the families of male delinquents used samples comprised largely of adolescents. psychiatric illness. however. antisocial girls were at high risk for being diagnosed with Hysteria (similar to the current definition of Somatization Disorder). including arrests. When preadolescent samples are used. and 40% of these girls had been arrested as adults. As a result. and Borduin (1987) compared 32 male and 32 female adolescents from “intact” families matched on demographic variables and divided them into 4 groups: male delinquent. Henggeler. 1986). almost no girls were diagnosed with conduct problems (including Conduct Disorder and substance abuse) prior to age 12 years (mean age of diagnosis = 12.Delayed-onset pathway 111 quents are much worse than the backgrounds of male delinquents (e. 50% had been pregnant. However. Bardone.g. Webster–Stratton. In contrast. 1984). 1993. and Voti (1994) presented data from a longitudinal study of primary depression in outpatient clinic-referred girls. More importantly. Stattin and Magnusson (1984) found that 50% of highly aggressive Swedish girls at age 13 years had been registered for at least one offense at age 26 years.4 years). Adult outcome of severely antisocial girls A second common theme in the literature on antisocial girls is the very negative outcome in late adolescence and adulthood for these girls. and 22% had attempted suicide. For girls. girls with Conduct Disorder had higher rates of APD symptoms and self-reported illegal behavior scores than did girls with no diagnosis at age 15 or girls diagnosed with depression at age 15 years.

vandalism. only 5 of the 159 girls (3%) had no further arrests following their release. with 83% of women who retrospectively reported having severe antisocial behavior in adolescence reporting some type of adult diagnosis. breaking up with a lover. regardless of whether the outcomes are measured as adult arrests. 1994) and significantly impair the functioning of these women (Robins. Even more distressing findings are available in the juvenile delinquency literature. or other behaviors characteristic of an unstable and chaotic lifestyle.. and Richards (1988) found that in a group of outpatient clinic-referred girls. The mean number of arrests for these girls was 7. Gatsonis. and/or moving. 1986).. 1986). Similar findings were reported in a more recent retrospective study. 71% had serious drug and alcohol problems.112 P. including losing a job.2. alcohol and substance abuse. having something repossessed or being sued for debts. Whether the adult outcome falls on the internalizing or externalizing disorder spectrum. stealing) or “less masculine” (lying.g. Moffitt. (1991) reported that 43% of their sample had neurological impairment and 14% had cognitive impairment. diagnoses of APD or other psychiatric disorders. breaking up with a lover. although this overlap was moderated by the presence of developmental delays. Thus. substance abuse) conduct problems (Robins). Silverthorn and P. In addition. and the mean number of convictions was 3. Loeber and Keenan (1994) in a review of gender and disruptive disorders reported a higher overlap between ADHD and CD for girls. with only 17% of these girls being considered “well” at the follow-up assessment (Robins. J. including losing a job. and Werner (1987) found that an IQ below 80 was the strongest predictor of adolescent delinquency (r = . Cognitive and neurological dysfunction in severely antisocial girls A third theme in the literature on antisocial girls is that there seems to be a high rate of cognitive and/or neuropsychological dysfunction in female delinquents. 71% of the girls had been arrested with a mean number of 3. Kovacs. There is also some evidence that antisocial girls may have high rates of ADHD. For example. 1986).g.9 years old at the time of initial assessment. than did men with a childhood history of antisocial behavior (Robins. In a 7-year follow-up study of 21 matched male and female delinquents who were 14. even though in the general population. 1966). women with a juvenile history of conduct problems had a larger number of recent (within the last 6 months) adverse life events. Studies of neurological dysfunction in girls with ADHD generally have been mixed. (1992) found a modest negative correlation between girls’ math achievement at age 10 years and aggressive (r = −. girls with ADHD were at a higher risk of developing CD than girls without ADHD.38) in girls.5 (Warren & Rosenbaum). Zoccolillo (1993) reported that delinquent girls have a higher rate of ADHD than delinquent boys. and moving. Paulauskas. including 39% with an externalizing disorder diagnosis (Robins. ending a relationship with a best friend.21) and delinquent (r = −. ending a relationship with a best friend. perhaps even higher than rates for antisocial boys. Lewis et al. 1991). the available findings suggest that girls with a history of conduct problems in adolescence almost invariably have poor adult outcomes. Warren and Rosenbaum (1986) gathered follow-up information for 159 girls committed to the California Youth Authority between the years 1961 and 1969. Frick psychiatric outcome in adulthood. these symptoms are associated with negative social and economic consequences (e. boys have higher rates of ADHD..8 adult offenses. These negative adult outcomes were found whether the woman had engaged in “more masculine” (e. Phifer (1992) found that the average female delinquent had a low average IQ and had failed at least one grade. fighting. Tremblay et al. and 90% had attempted suicide. runaway. with over half of those girls attempting on more than one occasion (Lewis et al. with some researchers finding that girls with ADHD have higher rates of neurological problems compared to the rates for . For example. During the 205 months after the girls were released.20) behavior at age 14 years. having something repossessed or being sued for debts.

These rates of abuse are higher than for samples of adolescent male offenders. poor adult outcomes. Snell. see also Silverthorn.8% had been sexually abused and 22. 1989. Kuper. a fourth theme from the literature on severely antisocial girls is that there are two factors related to female antisocial behavior that do not appear as frequently in the literature on antisocial boys. 1993a). 1993). few studies looking at neurological dysfunction in girls with ADHD have included adolescent girls. chaotic lifestyles. both research showing changes in prevalence of severe antisocial behavior with concomitant changes in the male : female ratio across development and research on individual and environmental characteristics of girls who exhibit severe antisocial behavior. As a result. The first factor that was evident from the previous discussion of poor outcomes is that there is a high rate of suicide attempts among female delinquents. Bureau of Justice Statistics. there is some evidence that girls with antisocial behavior are more likely to have ADHD than are boys with antisocial behavior. Two key issues need to be addressed if the model is to fit the existing data on girls.. antisocial girls show many characteristics that make them similar to boys with childhood-onset patterns of conduct problems. 1994. its ability to predict differential outcomes. Lewis et al. To reiterate. the two-trajectory model for boys was developed in part to explain the paradoxical findings that many adolescent antisocial boys do not become adult offenders. 1991. & Ott. Calhoun et al. one of the primary reasons for developing the two-trajectory model. 1997. and high rates of cognitive and neuropsychological dysfunction (see Moffitt. limiting the applicability of these studies to the question at hand. does not appear to be applicable to girls. Other authors have reported attempted suicide rates ranging from 22% to 50% in samples of girls with conduct problems (Bergsmann. Suicide attempts and histories of abuse in severely antisocial girls The findings reviewed thus far suggest that. 19 of the 21 subjects in Lewis et al. However. For example. A second apparently unique factor is the high rate of physical and sexual abuse among antisocial girls.g.Delayed-onset pathway 113 ADHD boys and other researchers finding that girls have lower rates (e. That is. most antisocial girls start showing severe antisocial behavior in adolescence and the vast majority of these girls have negative outcomes in adulthood..’s (1991) study of female juvenile offenders had attempted suicide. First. where 1. No such paradoxical data have been found for . Studies have suggested that between 43% and 75% of antisocial girls had been sexually abused. The available data are limited at this time and interpretations must be made with caution. 10 on more than one occasion. call into question the applicability of the two-trajectory model which has been proposed to explain the development of conduct problems in boys. Nevertheless. Seidman et al. Frick.. but nearly all antisocial adults were antisocial as children.5% had been physically abused (Viale– Val & Sylvester). the onset of antisocial behavior and the adult outcome of antisocial girls seems to be much more homogeneous than is found in samples of antisocial boys. and almost none have determined whether conduct problems were present. 1991). 1989.. Unfortunately. Viale–Val & Sylvester. 1993. namely. 1997. In addition. 1996). high rates of family dysfunction and family psychopathology. compared to the general population rate of 12%. including psychiatric illness and unstable. Zoccolillo & Rogers. despite the typical adolescent-onset of conduct problems for girls. A Delayed-Onset Pathway in the Development of Antisocial Behavior in Girls Research on severely antisocial girls and the two-trajectory model We feel that the literature on severely antisocial girls that we have reviewed. preliminary data suggest that girls with antisocial behavior may be characterized by having high rates of school failure and lower IQs. and between 42% to 62% of antisocial girls had been physically abused (Bergsmann.

Robins. The characteristics of this model and the similarities and differences between this trajectory and the two-trajectories proposed for boys are summarized in Table 2.. 1991. although measures of individual conduct problems obtained in childhood do not correlate with later antisocial behaviors in girls (Caspi & Moffitt. and (c) these predisposing factors are most likely to be similar to the underlying factors in male childhoodonset CD. school failure) and ADHD (e. and/or chaotic.. It is important to note that there is to date no direct comparison of antisocial girls specifically with childhood-onset boys to test this apparent similarity.g. 1995. & Oberklaid... when adolescent scores are used. Rosenbaum. & Brown. the potential similarity in backgrounds clearly suggests that some modifications in the two-trajectory model are needed before it can be extended to girls. Kovacs et al. Lewis et al. The second key issue in developing a model of delinquency in girls is that despite the later onset of antisocial behavior for girls. 1966. often within the same investigation. 1993). 1979. unstable lifestyles. Tremblay et al. Hinshaw et al.. These correlates are similar to those found in boys with a childhood-onset of antisocial behavior but not in boys with an adolescent-onset to their conduct problems (e. Moffitt. Bates. Bardone et al. Silverthorn and P. 1991). two potential vulnerabilities that have . Interestingly. and high rates of cognitive and neurological deficits (e.. 1997. (b) the underlying predisposing factors to adolescent antisocial behavior (e. but that for girls (a) antisocial behaviors generally do not emerge until adolescence.g.. J. Werner. 1991.114 P. 1986). Zoccolillo. Similarity in mechanisms between delayedonset girls and childhood-onset boys In the previous discussion of likely mechanisms that underlie the behaviors of boys in the childhood-onset group. Bennett. & Stanger. 1991).g. aggression (e.. 1993) or disruptiveness (e. We propose that these data support the presence of only one developmental trajectory for antisocial girls. cognitive and/ or neuropsychological dysfunction) are likely to be present in childhood. 1993. However.. Pulkkinen & Pitkanen.g. Smart. Frick girls. Kratzer & Hodgins. 1993.. whereas significant correlations are typically found for boys. Lewis et al. Briefly. Prior.. 1993.g. have found a strong relationship between childhood conduct problems and adult antisocial behaviors (e. The above discussion could help to explain why many longitudinal studies of girls have failed to find a relationship between early childhood conduct problems and later adult antisocial behaviors. Pulkkinen & Pitkanen. nearly all have negative adult outcomes. delinquent behaviors and antisocial behaviors in later adolescence and adulthood (e. a trajectory that has many commonalities with the childhood-onset trajectory in boys but for girls. psychiatric diagnoses (externalizing and/or internalizing). However. regardless of the behavioral variable used. low average IQ. For example. including arrests.. Ridge. dysfunctional family environments.g. 1997.. Robins. 1992). Achenbach.. 1991. 1993a). Howell.. In the extensions of this theory by Lynam (1996) and Frick (in press). 1992). for example.g. Offord et al. Tremblay et al.. We have labeled this trajectory the “delayedonset” pathway.g. the backgrounds and outcomes of antisocial girls are much more consistent with the findings for childhood-onset conduct problems in boys.. measures of family dysfunction have been found to be the strongest predictors of later antisocial behavior (Roff & Wirt. and of those who engage in antisocial behaviors in adolescence. antisocial girls have high rates of family dysfunction (e.. Bayles. Moffitt (1993a. measures obtained prior to adolescence fail to correlate with adolescent and adult behaviors for girls. almost no girls are antisocial in childhood. 1994) focused on temperamental vulnerabilities in the child which interact with a dysfunctional family environment. We have chosen this particular label indicate that there is a relationship between this pathway and the two pathways for boys. 1986.g. Sanson. significantly impaired adult outcomes (e. whereas most longitudinal studies of boys. typically has an adolescent-onset. investigators more often find significant correlations for girls between disruptive.g. 1984). McConaughy. 1994. 1989). 1987. Zoccolillo & Rogers.

Cluster analyses resulted in the emergence of four clusters of children. and have poor adult outcome Onset of severe antisocial behavior is typically in adolescence and antisocial behavior is typically less aggressive/violent in nature Shared Mechanisms Difficult temperaments (e. the largest percentage of girls was found in the CU-only group (33.g. Hannahan. Christian et al. greater peer changes in biological acceptance of antisocial and social milieu as behavior.. often show callous-unemotional traits and/or poor impulse control. Comparison of shared characteristics. Moffitt and colleagues reported that childhood-onset boys and delinquent girls both exhibited personality traits that are somewhat analogous to callous and unemotional traits.3%). sex was not associated with scores on a measure of callous and unemotional traits. 1993). This contention is based on several studies that have provided at least preliminary supportive data. have high rates of cognitive/ neuropsychological deficits.g. and Frick (1995) who reported that in both a clinic and community sample of preadolescent children. sexual associated with more and cognitive maturity) enduring vulnerabilities and in social milieu that interact with (e. less parental child approaches supervision) lower adolescence constraints on antisocial behavior been proposed are the presence of poor impulse control which interacts with problematic parenting practices (see also Colder. Also consistent with our proposed model. Boys and girls had similar means for the callous and unemotional measure and for each of the six items in the scale.. we hypothesize that similar underlying factors are present in preadolescent girls who later show severe antisocial behavior in adolescence. and a clinic control group was low on both dimensions (CC). 1997) and low behavioral inhibition which can lead to the development of a callous and unemotional interpersonal style (see also Kochanska. poor impulse control. . another group was high on callous and unemotional traits only (CU-only). & Wells. Lochman. One cluster had high rates of conduct problems without high rates of callous and unemotional traits (CP-only). sex was significantly related to conduct problems with boys having more conduct problems prior to adolescence. and biological and social changes during puberty encourage manifestation of these behaviors Adolescent-onset trajectory Changes in biological Antisocial behavior is maturation (e. Although more males than females were found in all four categories (only 19% of the sample was female). and points of divergence between delayed-onset pathway in girls and childhood-onset and adolescent-onset trajectories in boys Delayed-Onset Trajectory Shared Characteristics Childhood-onset trajectory Often come from dysfunctional family backgrounds. and the smallest percentage of girls was found in the CU + CP group (11.1%). Although the evidence is far from definitive.g. low behavioral inhibition) interact with adverse rearing environments that lead to enduring individual vulnerabilities Points of Divergence Mechanisms occurring during middle childhood suppress overt antisocial behaviors in childhood. one group was high on both di- mensions (CU + CP). Similar results were found by Silverthorn. In contrast.Delayed-onset pathway 115 Table 2. (1997) investigated the relation between callous and unemotional traits and conduct problems in a clinicreferred sample of preadolescent children ages 6 to 13 years. shared mechanisms..

1997). In fact. Similar findings emerged on measure of poor impulse control. Frick labeled “social closeness” (Krueger et al. teachers.). Orenstein. 1993). elementary school itself may serve to buffer girls from a variety of negative . & Gulko. 1994. it may be the increasing pressure from parents. and could not be accounted for by the two-trajectory model used for boys. starting around age 5 years and increasing throughout the elementary school years. These data provide the most direct evidence that. In addition. peer relationships become more important and peer approval becomes increasingly desired (Serbin. and peers for children to conform to typical gender stereotyped behaviors and the increasing desire of children to please their peers that may partially explain the childhood decrease in antisocial behaviors for girls and why there is no concomitant decrease for boys. and the presence of antisocial behavior in adolescence and adulthood. Thus. It is also possible that girls. which leads to a decrease in antisocial behaviors during the elementary school years. Powlishta. which may contribute to children expecting their peers to behave in gender appropriate ways. J. identifying themselves as either “masculine” or “feminine. but not boys. Silverthorn and P. the mechanisms involved in delayed-onset pathway are analogous to the processes involved in the childhood-onset pathway for boys and are illustrated in Figure 1. Serbin et al. Moffitt et al. Also beginning around kindergarten.. it has thus far failed to explain. Similar to the childhoodonset boys. Sadker & Sadker.. Teachers also contribute to this socialization process. why this shift occurs. as would be expected by the delayed-onset model. what is clearly lacking in this research is a test of the key assumption of this model that callous and unemotional traits and impulsivity were present in these girls prior to adolescence and predict the development of severe antisocial behaviors in adolescence. with childhood-onset boys and delinquent girls showing more impulsivity than adolescent-onset boys. They tend to have fairly inflexible sex-role definitions. While this process would explain the high rate of behavioral problems found in girls in infancy and early childhood. Why are antisocial behaviors in girls delayed until adolescence? Our model posits that in general. We believe that separate mechanisms which occur during the transition to middle childhood and during the onset of puberty help to explain the change in the rates of antisocial behaviors for girls. we believe that these hypothesized mechanisms are unique to the delayed-onset model. whereas girls who engaged in a variety of adolescent crimes (called versatile delinquents) had scores similar to childhood-onset boys. 1996). which is similar to the rate found in preschool boys (Keenan & Shaw. 1994). In addition. children begin to adhere to gender stereotypes much more strongly than they did when they were younger. attending to and reinforcing aggressive behavior in boys but not girls (Keenan & Shaw. 1994. 1997).” and engaging in school and play activities typical of their gender (Mann. we propose that girls in the delayed-onset pathway begin life with a difficult temperament which interacts with a dysfunctional family environment. and this transactional process sets into motion a chain of failed parent–children interactions. if indeed prevalence rates of antisocial behavior are lower for school-age girls compared to boys. There are several processes which may occur at the time children enter elementary school which may explain the decrease in the rate of conduct problems for girls but not boys. However. The low rate of serious antisocial behaviors during middle childhood may be due in part to an increase in parental socialization practices which encourage girls to express their temperament and behavioral symptoms through primarily internalizing behaviors (Keenan & Shaw. 1994. antisocial girls show callous and unemotional traits and poor impulse control which is similar to childhoodonset boys. These authors reported that childhood-onset boys scored lower on measures of social closeness than did adolescent-onset boys.116 P. Developmental changes during the transition to middle childhood. experience a number of protective factors in childhood.

1994). receiving more praise for passive and dependent behaviors. 1997. It also appears that preadolescent girls show fewer negative reactions than boys when faced with negative and/ or aversive childhood events. boys receive more teacher attention (Keenan & Shaw. 1995). 1991. presumedly because of the immaturity of the female pulse generator. and day care (Eme & Kavanaugh. First. females have an “immature” pulse generator which is incapable of performing at an adult level until after additional maturational changes occur as a result of the initial onset of puberty. 1994). During the prepubertal period. In reaction to negative events such as divorce. due to the more active restraint system. family discord. 1994). Pathological trajectories and normal development for boys and their analogous trajectories for girls. Sadker & Sadker. 1992). it takes a less intense effort to restrain the production of gonadotropic hormones for girls than for boys (Plant. These findings indicate that two important differences are evident between males and females. such as divorce. For example. effects. Orenstein. numerous studies have shown that in elementary school. In contrast. it appears that during infancy and childhood. boys tend to show problem behaviors that are more severe and more sustained than girls (Hetherington & Clingempeel). Recent research suggests that the prepubertal and pubertal experiences may be very different for males and females. girls tend to function very well. the GnRH pulse generator does not being to operate at an adult level until after puberty due to an active restraint on the system’s ability to produce the hormones. in males. hormones) is capable of functioning at an adult level in infancy (Plant. 1994). 1994. 1994. A provocative explanation as to why this might occur comes from neuroendocrinological work with primates (Plant. maternal employment. Simplistically presented. Mann. and receiving less negative attention from teachers. despite the fact that overall. or sex. which occurs between ages 8 and 10 years.Delayed-onset pathway 117 Figure 1. earning higher grades. In addition. the hypothalamic gonadotropin-release hormone (GnRH) pulse generator (which secretes the gonadotropic. However. girls are typically seen as more socially and academically competent than boys according to both parent and teacher raters (Hetherington & Clingempeel. pre-pubertal males are in extreme hypogonadic state com- .

for males. Dalkin. females have the added developmental task of sexual maturation of the GnRH pulse generator. whereas for females. when hormonal production is actively and strongly restrained. 93). 1994). the transition to puberty would be expected to be much more difficult. Haisenleder. the delayed-onset model must also explain the apparent reemergence of antisocial behavior in puberty. However. J.37 to 3.. once puberty is initiated. hormone pulses change regularly based on ovulation cycles (Marshall. the onset of puberty is defined for research purposes as the onset of menarche (Brooks–Gunn & Warren. 1994).. 1993. since the apparent less active restraint on the hormonal system presumedly leads to a less severe hypogonadal state. in contrast to the two trajectory model used for boys. These findings suggest that males may have a much more tumultuous time during childhood. Frick pared to prepubertal females (Plant. 1994). whereas the pulse generator has been fully mature in males since infancy (Plant. There tends to be a difference in how boys and girls view puberty. might help to explain why. These hypotheses are speculative at this point. and the more complex shift to puberty for girls might explain the general increase of psychiatric illness in adolescence. & Kennedy. 1993. with girls viewing menarche and associated body changes (i. the transition to puberty should be less difficult for males. may help to explain the changing pattern of antisocial behaviors for girls. and family and peer relationships” (Costello & Angold.38 years. 1991. In addition. 1992). However. during the transition to puberty. coupled with the putative effects of gender-specific socialization efforts and school-based protective factors during middle childhood. 1982. In addition. 1985). delayed-onset girls typically do not manifest severe antisocial behaviors during childhood. the less severe reaction to pre-pubertal hormones for girls. since it involves the sexual maturation of the pulse generator (Plant. & Kelch. despite coming from homes with severe family dysfunction..e.118 P. 1991). Silverthorn and P. The more severe reaction to prepuberty for boys might explain why boys have higher rates of psychiatric illness prior to age 10 years. round bodies. Petersen. However. To improve upon the existing theories. . cognition. In contrast. In addition to the proposing the presence of factors which may suppress the manifestation of antisocial behaviors during middle childhood for girls. While the following discussion was necessarily simplistic. Second. if extrapolated to humans. Data with humans suggest additional sex differences during puberty. Plant. 1994). increase in fatty tissue) as extremely negative (Greif & Ulman. the differential endocrinological pattern for males and females during childhood and adolescence. despite menarche occurring between 2. on average. p. the factors involved are most likely numerous and complex. Sarigani. Griffin. 1997. since it generally consists of the “reawakening” of the GnRH pulse regulator. with girls experiencing rapid physical maturation at the same time as extreme and rapid endocrine changes and boys completing the majority of their endocrinological changes prior to external physical maturation (Angold & Worthman. hormone pulses occur at invarying intervals. childhood may be much easier for females. specifically the decrease of antisocial behaviors during childhood for these at-risk girls who previously engaged in disruptive behaviors. particularly since they rely partially on the extrapolation of primate endocrinology to humans and because the data available for girls is limited. after the initiation of endocrinological changes which lead to breast and/ or public hair development (Herman–Giddens et al. attempts to explain the change in prevalence of antisocial behavior over time. 1991). these speculations illustrate how the delayed-onset model. physical form. may help to explain the changing gender patters of psychiatric disorders. Typically. and in general. we propose that there are factors unique to puberty which cause the reemergence of antisocial behaviors in these at-risk girls. The importance of puberty. however. Petersen et al. Given the many changes that occur at puberty in “hormonal status.

Moffitt. In contrast. in none of the published research from the New Zealand data does there appear to be a direct test of a relationship between family factors and adolescent behavior problems for girls (e. Interestingly. 1991. Roff and Wirt (1984) found that measures of family dysfunction have been found to be the strongest predictors of later antisocial behavior for girls. 1992. & Chrousos. Moffitt. Unfortunately. there is little evidence to suggest that in girls. Bardone et al. 12% for boys in Petersen et al. Belsky. Caspi & Moffitt. despite finding that family factors are related to early menarche (Moffitt et al. 1985). whereas this relationship was much stronger for boys (Angold & Worthman. Caspi & Moffitt. Nevertheless. Moffitt. Moffitt et al. And. Pipher. In fact. Nottlemann et al... particularly when puberty occurs during the transition to junior high (Simmons & Blyth. & Silva. the findings encourage the speculation that for girls. family conflict and father absence at age 7 years were both significantly correlated with early menarche. In addition.Delayed-onset pathway 119 Boys. & Draper. less positive teacher–student relationships. Studies have suggested that although boys’ self-esteem tends to generally increase throughout adolescence. hormonal changes may be more influenced by stressful environmental factors (Angold & Worthman. 1993. girls tend to be more vulnerable to these negative effects since they are more likely than boys to experience puberty simultaneously with school change (43% for girls vs.) and early menarche is associated with adoles- cent antisocial behavior for girls (Caspi & Moffitt).. 1994). at age 7 and 9 years. data suggest that there is a relatively weak relationship between hormones and behavior for girls. including an increased emphasis on teacher control and discipline. 1997. Green. Caspi. Caspi et al. 1991. including family conflict and father absence. Robins. Nottlemann. 162). the hormones themselves play a significant direct role in negative affect such as aggression (Brooks–Gunn & Warren. Junior high differs from elementary school in a variety of ways. both boys and girls had negative reactions to the school change. 1991. “no significant difference between the girls who were later subdivided into four menarcheal groups” was found on measures of behavior problems (Caspi & Moffitt. tend to have a more positive view of the physical changes of puberty (Gaddis & Brooks–Gunn. 1993. p. all of which tend to be more problematic for girls than for boys (Orenstein. girls’ self-esteem drops at puberty. 1991) have reported that girls with an early-onset of menarche engage in more antisocial behaviors at ages 13 and 15.. However. is associated with earlier menarche (Belsky et al. on the other hand. 1993.. & Loeber.. and these family factors may also be related to the early onset of menarche in these girls.. and colleagues (Caspi et al. Ingoff–Germain. 1994. evidence from primates suggests that the transition to adolescence may be hormonally more disruptive for females than males (Plant. Caspi. 1993). Belsky. 1990). and an increased emphasis on group work and public evaluation (Eccles et al.. students earn lower grades in the first year of junior high. in the same sample. In contrast. Petersen et al. The transition to puberty also involves a number of psychosocial disruptions.. research in humans has found that girls experience endocrinological changes in con- . 1987). 1990). despite the academic work actually being easier than it was during the last year of elementary school. 1992). Although puberty is characterized by a significant increase in hormone levels. these findings may help to explain the apparent relationship between early onset of menarche and antisocial behaviors in girls (see also Silverthorn. Henry et al.. Plus. Earls. (1991) found that when peak puberty occurred within 6 months of the transition to junior high. Steinberg. as noted in the above section.g. 1998). a dysfunctional family environment may be directly linked to antisocial behaviors in adolescence for girls with no apparent behavior problems in childhood. 1992). White. 1989). 1993. 1994). there is a growing boys of evidence that suggests that for girls more so than for boys. & Silva. 1990). and behavior problems at age 7 years was not associated with early menarche (Moffitt et al. However. Susman.’s study). Research suggests that the presence of stressors during childhood.

Paikoff & Brooks–Gunn. 1991). Thus. J. Moffitt et al. Lillienfeld. Caspi & Moffitt. stealing).. Continuities between adolescent and adult behaviors. and cognitive and/or neurological deficits. in concert with the difficult transition to junior high school and marked decrease in self-esteem. In addition. aggression. antisocial behaviors are maintained into adulthood as a result of both cumulative consequences (the combined effects of a lifetime of antisocial behaviors) and contemporary consequences (the individual characteristics which cause problems in current circumstances) (see also Moffitt. such as teen pregnancy and transitory relationships. a callous and unemotional personality style. then it would appear that delayedonset girls would have had the opportunity to experience a long history of negative cumulative consequences (cf.. If our model outlined in the above sections is correct. At the same time that girls are experiencing the tumultuous shifts associated with puberty. by the end of adolescence. 1996). Proposed mechanisms of the delayed-onset model. 1994). despite their later age-of-onset. it is possible that physical and hormonal changes associated with puberty. 1991). Furthermore. Although girls in the delayed-onset pathway typically did not engage in antisocial behaviors during childhood. Silverthorn and P. In addition. while boys experience physical maturation after endocrinological changes (Angold & Worthman. & Wootton. Petersen et al. since both childhood-onset and adolescent-onset boys are committing delinquent acts (Moffitt. such as increased rates of internalizing disorders or alcohol and/or drug abuse. The delayed-onset model combines a . they would help to explain the findings that delinquent adolescent girls tend to have a wide variety of negative adult outcomes. although due to the net effect of these cumulative and contemporary consequences. in combination with individual correlates. in press. not only antisocial outcomes.. including poor impulse control.. even with the increase of antisocial and delinquent behaviors among boys in adolescence. These cumulative and contemporary consequences could very well lead to the continuation of antisocial behaviors. they may begin using somatization symptoms to achieve the same end result (see also Frick et al. However. 1992). In addition. 1991. although these constraints are probably still greater for girls than boys. 1995. Again. may lead to the emergence of antisocial behaviors in at-risk girls. Caspi et al. it is hypothesized that they will experience other negative consequences. The increase in antisocial behaviors in general could provide a vulnerable girl with greater peer modeling of and peer support for antisocial behavior than was present prior to adolescence (e. Moffitt (1993a) argues that for males with a childhood-onset of delinquency.. including family dysfunction and a history of physical and/or sexual abuse. Finally. would have led to these girls to have experienced at least some negative interactions during this period. there are a number of changes in a girl’s social milieu that may cause a girl with a callous and unemotional interpersonal style and/or impulse control begin a pattern of antisocial behavior in adolescence. 1994). individual variables such as poor impulse control and callous interpersonal traits could be associated with negative contemporary consequences. 1990). This prevalence shift could also provide somewhat of a decrease in societal constraints against antisocial behavior because it becomes more normative. there is generally a decrease in the amount of parental supervision that occurs in adolescence that may allow for greater opportunities for vulnerable girls to act in antisocial ways (Frick. 1993. 1993a. we argue that antisocial girls are viewed as aberrant.g. intimidation. these girls would have had ample time to engage in antisocial behaviors. 1993. Moffitt. Frick cert with physical maturation. Additionally. Christian. although these proposals are speculative. there is an increase in the overall rate of antisocial behavior in their social milieu. if these women are unable to control their environment or obtain desired objects via antisocial means (e..g. not every woman may have the opportunity (or desire) to engage in illegal acts in adulthood. Rutter.120 P. meaning only “vulnerable” girls should show severe antisocial behavior. the putative preadolescent correlates.

a complete classification of adolescent boys would include two pathological groups. typical adolescent girls are likely to engage in minor. but also the changes in prevalence of antisocial behaviors over a girl’s lifespan. Thus. Specifically. begin to show a severe and impairing pattern of antisocial behavior. negative reaction to the hormonal changes of puberty. poor impulse control. which potentially includes a strong. girls . such as a difficult temperament. First. Normal-adolescent rebellion A key assumption in the delayed-onset model. leads to these girls having a negative outcome in adulthood. Specifically. in younger school-age children (ages 5 to 8 years). 1996). and non-frequent normal teenage rebellious activities that would not be classified as particularly deviant or delinquent (Krueger et al. non-serious. and psychosocial changes which occur during puberty. those boys in the childhood-onset pathway and those in the adolescent-onset pathway. which encourages these already vulnerable girls to begin to manifest severe antisocial behaviors. one that clearly differentiates it from the twotrajectory model proposed for boys. In this way. negative psychological reactions to the physical changes of puberty. This lasts through the first decade of life. Moffitt et al. the actual mechanism of the delayed-onset model is hypothesized to occur in the following manner.Delayed-onset pathway 121 number of aspects of previous explanations that have been developed to account for the discrepant sex ratio for antisocial disorders into a comprehensive theory that we believe explains the changing prevalence of antisocial behaviors for girls from the preschool years through adulthood. girls initially show overt behavior problems as a result of their temperament and these interactional difficulties. when delayed-onset girls begin exhibiting overt and severe antisocial behaviors. or that they do not show a normal pattern of adolescent rebellion. Like adolescent boys. 1996). substance abuse. shifts in school structure. That is. Some of these girls may continue to manifest antisocial behaviors. the single trajectory proposed in the delayed-onset model attempts to explain not only the development of antisocial behaviors for girls. combined with the proximal consequences of their behaviors and interpersonal style. leads to the suppression of overt manifestation of antisocial behaviors in childhood. is the assumption that there is not a trajectory analogous to the adolescent-onset trajectory in girls. increased prevalence of antisocial behavior by male peers. 1994). which is similar to the process in young childhood-onset boys. It is possible that a combination of socialization pressures from parents. However. 1993a.. As preschoolers.. but for many. the delayed-onset model for girls only focuses on explaining severe and impairing patterns of antisocial behavior (Moffitt et al. hormonal. The change in behavioral manifestation could be due to the convergence of physical. and one normal group comprised of normal rebellious teenagers (Moffitt. teachers. delayed-onset girls fail to follow the same behavioral progression as childhood-onset boys. the consequences of previous and current behaviors will be internalizing disorders. and/or somatization behaviors. However. Like the two-trajectory model outlined for boys. we propose that there is not a subgroup of adolescent girls with few individual vulnerabilities and/or adverse rearing contexts who. and peers for girls to engage in stereotypically female behaviors.) (see Figure 1). and apparently exhibit few severe antisocial behaviors in childhood. and putative positive effects of a less intense restraining system on prepubertal hormones. girls in the delayed-onset pathway begin life with individual vulnerabilities. until puberty. Results from a recent nationwide study of the prevalence of a wide range of emotional and behavioral problems support this notion (McDermott. and cognitive and/or neurological deficits which interact with a dysfunctional family environment to produce a series of failed parent–children interactions. The consequences of these cumulative effects. decreased self-esteem. as a function of the biological and social milieu of adolescence. presence of school-related protective factors. this does not suggest that typical adolescent girls are immune to developmental issues related to autonomy and identity formation. and decreased parental supervision.

which we have labeled as the “delayed-onset” model. J.g. We do believe. such as inattentive. This two trajectory model has been developed largely from research on boys. respectively) were quite similar. will not engage in severe antisocial behavior. However. by ages 15 to 17. adverse family backgrounds. Whereas male and female rates of alcohol consumption (75. however. prepubertal girls who show the pathogenic factors out- . girls are hypothesized to share many of the vulnerabilities of the early-onset boys but do not manifest severe antisocial behavior until adolescence when there are significant changes in girls’ biological and social milieu. and rebellious behaviors than boys. In boys. the delayed-onset model explicitly offers hypotheses to explain the changing manifestation of antisocial behaviors in girls from preschool to adulthood. that severe antisocial behavior is so aberrant for girls that only those with preexisting individual and environmental vulnerabilities will engage in these behaviors. this equalization of the sex ratio was not found for many other types of behaviors. However. Our review of the available research on antisocial girls calls this assumption into question. neuropsychological dysfunction. girls were equally likely to show these behaviors. but to make clear that we do not believe that girls are idle during adolescence or that they fail to strive for independence and autonomy. it seems to be an exaggeration of a normal developmental process that is partly a function of a maturity gap that is created in many industrialized societies. This model.4% and 46. LSD. In addition. This latter group is discussed not to confuse the issue or inexplicitly suggest something other than a one-trajectory model for girls. 1995). Thus. negative. neither group engages in the types of behavior which would contribute to a diagnosis of Conduct Disorder or adjudication as a delinquent. Figure 1) that can guide research on the development of antisocial behavior in girls. In contrast to the two-trajectory model. Interestingly.9% and 76. the emerging conceptual model of two developmental pathways in the development of severe patterns of antisocial behavior may not apply to the development of antisocial behavior in girls. A second pattern of severe antisocial behavior in boys onsets in adolescence. there appears to be two distinct developmental pathways. as shown in Figure 1. inhalants. callous and unemotional interpersonal style). this group of girls should be considered normal rebellious adolescents and should not be confused as having an adolescent-onset of antisocial behavior. these teens do not engage in these rebellious behaviors to any significant extent. and overactive behaviors. respectively) and reports of being drunk in the past year (53. a sorely neglected area of research. In this pathway. our main thesis is that without some important modifications. and heroin (Snyder & Sickmund. For example. is associated with a number of pathogenic mechanisms (e. these antisocial girls appear to show many of the same pathogenic mechanisms that were associated with the childhood-onset pathway in boys and which are hypothesized to make them vulnerable to developing severe antisocial behavior. Further support for the idea that normal adolescent girls may engage in minor rebellious behaviors and. was designed to offer a conceptual model with many clear and testable predictions (see Table 2.. One pathway onsets in early childhood.0%. We have proposed that these girls show a third developmental pathway which we have labeled the “delayed-onset” trajectory. cocaine. Similar to normal rebellious adolescent boys. Girls typically do not begin showing severe patterns of antisocial behavior until adolescence. but there is an implicit assumption in the research that it applies equally well to the development of antisocial behavior in girls.1%.122 P. a much higher rate of males than females reported using harder drugs. such as marijuana. in the absence of other significant predisposing factors. and although not normative. comes from official data for alcohol and illicit drug use. Silverthorn and P. and is often associated with a lifelong pattern of antisocial behavior. impulsive. Frick showed much less oppositional. Summary In conclusion.

Washington. B. The development and treatment of childhood aggression (pp. R. Crossinformant syndromes. P. 34. Child Development. Given how influential the twotrajectory model has become to the field. Angold.. could be followed into adolescence to determine if these factors are associated with the development of severe antisocial behavior in adolescence.. E. Brooks–Gunn. J. Journal of Affective Disorders. Child Development.. Bardone. Gender differences in aggression as a function of provocation: A meta-analysis.. Psychopathy and conduct problems in chil- . C. (1996). (1997). Aughenbaugh. (1997). (1991).. A. 461–471. If our model is correct. this is a critical methodological issue for future studies to consider. In addition. M. (1997). Frick. Journal of Youth and Adolescence.. We recognize that our model is in its early stage of development. dispositional. 93–120). T. epidemiologic and neuroendocrine perspective. A. & Miller. J.. Individual differences are accentuated during periods of social change: The sample case of girls at puberty. Calhoun.. However. Bergsmann. 40–55. 647–670. The way groups are typically formed in this research is based solely on the age of the sample.. Tyler..). A. M.. Unraveling girls’ delinquency: Biological. & Silva. A. and its ability to withstand these tests will ultimately determine its scientific merit. 422–447. T. Bennett.. Bettencourt. E. B... K. T. R. D. this would combine adolescent-onset boys with delayed-onset girls. I. Washington. DC: Author.. J.. M. In D. A. (1991). In mixed adolescent samples. 145–158. Butts.Delayed-onset pathway 123 lined in this paper. L. A. Snyder. interpersonal development.. Rubin (Eds. W. Caspi. A. P. 119. & Draper. M. Tierney. (1993). Ridge. & Caspi. and reproductive strategy: An evolutionary theory of socialization. It clearly calls into question the practice of using mixed adolescent samples when conducting research based on the two-trajectory model. References Achenbach. J. D. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder (4th ed. (1989). & Frazer. T. (1995). 163–189. Hill. who we propose are much more like the childhood-onset boys on most background factors and on measures of negative outcomes.. The neophyte female delinquent: A review of the literature. 62. 73–78.). Journal of the Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.. Puberty onset of gender differences in rates of depression: A developmental.. (1989). Lynam. J. A. Christian. Bates. H.. NJ: Erlbaum. such as poor impulse control or callous unemotional traits. Howell. 29. Psychological Bulletin. The forgotten few: Juvenile female offenders.. 19–30. MD: Author. Annapolis Junction. S. Bureau of Justice Statistics. N.. M. A. J. 29. D. 811–829. E. Privacy and juvenile justice records: A mid-decade status report (BJS Publication No. T. R. 336–347. (1991). Federal Probation. J. T. Journal of Personality Psychology. & Chen. (1985). Development and Psychopathology. Adolescence.. P. 14. Moffitt. American Psychiatric Association.. The origins of externalizing behavior problems at eight years of age. Jurgens. (1993). N. McConaughy.. & Brown. P.. Adult mental health and social outcomes of adolescent girls with depression and conduct disorder.. & Warren. Steinberg. & Poole. N. Sullivan. (1994). (1993). 12. J. N. Hillsdale. L. & Worthman. & Warren. D. Childhood experience. 60. and contextual contributions to adolescent misbehavior.. C. Six-year predictors of problems in a national sample of children and youth: I. Pepler & K. Bayles. & Stanger. E. 61. Caspi. P.. Developmental Psychology. C. H. DC: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. A. this model will hopefully spur further research on the development of antisocial behavior in girls. & Moffitt. NCJ-161255).. Even with the many likely revisions that will be needed as the data accumulate. tests can be made to determine if girls with a difficult temperament at age 3 years decrease their antisocial behaviors during childhood and then subsequently increase their rate of antisocial behaviors in adolescence. S. Belsky. P. 8. S. A. and it is based on a limited and methodologically flawed literature. 157–168. Brooks–Gunn. Measuring physical status and timing in early adolescence: A developmental perspective. These are just two examples of the many predictions that follow from this conceptual model but are quite different from the predictions that would be made from the unmodified two-trajectory model. 1996).. Juvenile Court Statistics: 1992. L. H. it offers many testable predictions to guide future research. (1995). G. Finnegan. J. Biological and social contributions to negative affect in young adolescent girls. F. much clearer support of the model would be obtained in samples limited to boys (see Moffitt et al. 28(110). Moffitt. M.

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