Pubertal Development and Delinquency: Do Mature Boys Seek Out Delinquent Peers?

Nick McRee, The University of Portland
Laurie Drapela, Washington State University, Vancouver

ABSTRACT
In a recent paper published in the journal CRIMINOLOGY, Felson and Haynie (2002) report a relationship between pubertal development and delinquency among young boys. Drawing on Terrie Moffitt's taxonomy of delinquency, Felson and Haynie conclude that the effect of pubertal development on delinquency is due to the fact that mature boys are especially susceptible to the influence of delinquent peers. Another possibility, rejected but not explicitly tested by Felson and Haynie, is that mature boys specifically seek out friendships with delinquent peers. We investigate whether mature boys are merely susceptible to the influence of delinquent peers in their midst, or if they actively cultivate friendships with delinquent peers. We test these hypotheses using data in waves I and II from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health.

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Updated 05/20/2006