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Effects of Neighborhood Disadvantage and Peer Deviance on Adolescent Antisocial Behavior: Testing Potential Interactions with Age-of-onset

NCJ Number
Development and Psychopathology Volume:    Dated: DEC 2023
Date Published
December 2023
12 pages

In this study, researchers investigated the effects of neighborhood disadvantage and peer deviance on adolescent antisocial behavior.


The results of this study on adolescent antisocial behavior revealed that age of onset moderated the associations between self-reported neighborhood disadvantage (ND) and arrests and between self-report of peer delinquency and arrests. In both cases, the association was stronger for those with adolescent-onset conduct problems (CP). Peer delinquency mediated all relationships between ND and CP. Results also showed some unexpected differences in associations depending on whether self-reported ND or census-derived indicators were used as predictors. Specifically, census-derived ND was negatively related to self-reported offending, which could be due to the use of an arrested sample and the need for youth in more advantaged neighborhoods to show a more severe pattern of antisocial behavior to be arrested. Research has suggested that childhood-onset CPs are more strongly related to individual predispositions, whereas adolescent-onset CP is more strongly associated with social factors, such as peer delinquency. Neighborhood disadvantage (ND) increases the risk for associating with deviant peers. Thus, peer delinquency could mediate the relationship between ND and adolescent-onset CP. This mediational hypothesis has not been tested previously. The authors tested this hypothesis in 1,127 justice-involved adolescent males using self-reported delinquency and official arrest records over 3 years after the youth’s first arrest as outcomes. Predictors were self-reported and census-derived indicators of ND and self-reported peer delinquency. (Published Abstract Provided)

Date Published: December 1, 2023