Gender and Race Differences in Early Adolescent Delinquency

Daphne C Hernandez, University of Michigan

This study focuses on gender and race differences in the correlates of delinquency among 4,070 adolescents, ages 12 to 14. Individual, family, and neighborhood factors were found salient in predicting delinquency among male, female, White, and Black and Hispanic adolescents. In regards to gender differences and involvement in minor delinquency, maternal unemployment is a marginal risk factor for males, while mother-child relationships is a protective factor for females. Living in a single parent household and being exposed to violence are greater risk factors for White adolescents than for Black and Hispanic adolescents. However, family routines protect White adolescents from engaging in minor delinquency more than Black and Hispanic adolescents. In regards to major delinquency, being female is a marginal risk factor for Black and Hispanic adolescents compared to White adolescents, while experiencing violence is a greater risk factor for White adolescents compared to Black and Hispanic adolescents.

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Presented in Poster Session 3: Children and Youth, Adolescence, Parenting, Transition to Adulthood, Life Course