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J Abnorm Child Psychol. 1999 Aug;27(4):277-92.

Childhood social predictors of adolescent antisocial behavior: gender differences in predictive accuracy and efficacy.

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  • 1Oregon Research Institute, Eugene 97403-1983, USA.


This study examined the ability of several childhood, school-based, social variables to correctly classify antisocial adolescents. Children (N = 314; 163 boys, 151 girls) in the 3rd-5th grade were assessed on academic and social variables (i.e., peer rejection, aggression, withdrawal, and low prosocial behavior) and followed forward for 6-7 years until the 9th and 10th grade. Adolescent antisocial outcomes included a consensus measure formed from diagnostic interviews, contact with juvenile authorities, adolescent self-report, and mother's report. The gender-differential predictive accuracy and efficacy of the early predictor domains to a consensus measure of antisocial behavior were compared with the same estimates found for adolescent self-report of antisocial behavior. Both gender and criterion-method differences were found. For girls, regardless of the measure of antisocial behavior, early academic problems were the strongest predictors of future problems. For boys' self-reported antisocial outcomes, peer rejection was the strongest independent predictor. For consensus-reported antisocial outcomes, both early fighting-anger and withdrawn behavior displayed equally strong predictive relations. For boys, the combination of early fighting-anger and disruptive and withdrawn behavior was the strongest set of predictors for the consensus measure of antisocial functioning. Predictive accuracy and efficacy estimates are discussed in terms of predictive strength as well as the cost-benefit of misidentification.

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