Adolescent Dating and Anti Social Behavior: The Birds, Bees, and Delinquency

Shawn J. Minor, University of Cincinnati
John Paul Wright, University of Cincinnati
Kevin Beaver, University of Cincinnati

One of the unique positive correlates to delinquency is adolescent dating. Adolescents who date frequently also appear more involved in misbehavior. While the positive association has been recognized, little is known about this indelible correlate. In this paper we test various theoretically derived hypotheses that link dating to delinquency. We view this link as potentially important since dating and sexual behavior in adolescences represents an important life-course transition that bridges adolescence to adulthood. Data for the analyses come from the National Longitudional Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health)-a nationally representative sample of 6,504 adolescents. The relationship between adolescent dating practices and delinquency will be analyzed in conjunction with levels of physiological maturity, school performance, intellectual/cognitive functioning, as well as personality and neighborhood characteristics.

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Updated 05/20/2006