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Adolescent Girls: The Role of Depression in the Development of Delinquency

NCJ Number
Date Published
July 1999
4 pages
Publication Series
This study examined whether and how depression might predict antisocial behavior among girls.
This study was part of the Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods (PHDCN), an ongoing longitudinal study of precursors to antisocial behavior. The PHDCN sample draws from an ethnically and socioeconomically diverse urban population. In the first wave of PHDCN's study, interviewers asked 12-year-old and 15-year-old white, African-American, and Latina girls (n=754) about their level of involvement in antisocial behavior and their level of depressive symptomatology during the 12 months prior to the interview. Involvement in antisocial behavior was measured with the Self-Report of Offending. The Youth Self-Report (YSR) was used to determine girls' levels of depressive symptomatology. Overall, preliminary findings suggest that mildly to moderately depressed girls may be at risk of engaging in antisocial behavior. Treating depression may have a twofold benefit: undermining the development and maintenance of antisocial behavior as well as reducing depression. Future PHDCN endeavors will include examining potential intervening links between depressive symptoms and antisocial behavior, such as association with deviant peers, substance use, poor academic achievement, and conflicted parent-child relationships. The characteristics of future related PHDCN research are described. 5 notes

Date Published: July 1, 1999