Using Econometrics to Test Gender Differences in Delinquency: Different Effects or Different Exposure?

Daniel J. O'Connell, University of Delaware
Christine A. Eith, University of Delaware
Steven S. Martin, University of Delaware

Prior research on the relationship between gender and delinquency has examined whether differences in rates of delinquency result from differing effects of predictor variables or from differential exposure to predictors that have essentially the same effect. Much of this research has relied upon testing of individual coefficients across models in order to test the relative strength of predictors across gender groups. This study attempts to test these effects in simultaneous models using econometric techniques. Using survey data from a sample of 6,956 eighth graders, we test whether the effects of risk seeking, parental attachment, and delinquent peers on drug use and delinquency differ across gender groups and whether any differences result from a difference in intercepts or slopes. We additionally test whether predictors of lifetime use/delinquency are the same as predictors of regular use/delinquency, and whether these effects differ across gender groups.

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Updated 05/20/2006