The impact of puberty on aggression/delinquency: Adolescence to young adulthood

Najman, Jake M., Hayatbakhsh, Mohammad R., McGee, Tara R., Bor, William, O'Callaghan, Michael J. and Williams, Gail M. (2009) The impact of puberty on aggression/delinquency: Adolescence to young adulthood. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology, 42 3: 369-386. doi:10.1375/acri.42.3.369

Author Najman, Jake M.
Hayatbakhsh, Mohammad R.
McGee, Tara R.
Bor, William
O'Callaghan, Michael J.
Williams, Gail M.
Title The impact of puberty on aggression/delinquency: Adolescence to young adulthood
Journal name Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0004-8658
Publication date 2009-12
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1375/acri.42.3.369
Volume 42
Issue 3
Start page 369
End page 386
Total pages 18
Editor Paul Mazerolle
Place of publication Bowen Hills, QLD, Australia
Publisher Australian Academic Press
Collection year 2010
Language eng
Subject 1603 Demography
111714 Mental Health
110319 Psychiatry (incl. Psychotherapy)
Formatted abstract
 Puberty is a potentially sensitive period during which the adolescent demonstrates rapid changes in aggressive/delinquent behaviour. Early onset of puberty has been implicated, not only in the earlier occurrence of aggressive/delinquent behaviour, but potentially a continuing higher level of aggression/delinquency. This article examines immediate and longer term gender specific changes in aggressive/delinquent behaviour as these are independently associated with the age of onset of puberty and pubertal stage adjusted for age. Data is derived from the Mater-University of Queensland Study of Pregnancy, a prospective prebirth cohort that involves 2,784 respondents who provided information about current pubertal stage (Tanner Score) and the age of onset of puberty, as well as the Achenbach's Youth Self-Report (14-year YSR) and Young Adult Self-Report (21-year YASR). Both males and females had similar increased levels of aggression/delinquency with more advanced pubertal stage at the 14-year follow-up. For females (but not males) early age of onset of puberty was additionally associated with more symptoms of aggression/ delinquency at the 14-year follow-up. For males, by the 21-year follow-up those who had experienced early age of onset of puberty no longer had higher YASR levels of aggression/delinquency. For females, only early and late age of occurrence of puberty were associated with longer term evidence of aggressive/delinquent behaviour. Progression through puberty is associated with increased levels of aggressive/delinquent behaviour for both males and females, and of about a similar magnitude. Female rates of aggressive/delinquent behaviour may have increased over time to match those observed in young males. For females only, there is evidence of a long-term sustained effect of early and late puberty on increased levels of aggressive/delinquent behaviour.
Keyword Puberty
Middle adolscence
United States
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code

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Created: Sun, 03 Jan 2010, 00:05:19 EST