Heterogeneity in the Association Between Social-Emotional Adjustment Profiles and Deviant Behavior Among Male and Female Serious Juvenile Offenders
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This article examines the relation among gender, social-emotional adjustment, and deviant behavior among serious juvenile offenders. A sample of 105 adolescent offenders completed questionnaires assessing social-emotional characteristics and self-reported involvement in deviant behaviors. Results indicate significant associations between distress and restraint in predicting deviance, a finding that was invariant across gender. Analysis of four distinct social-emotional profiles found that membership in the reactive group was associated with the greatest amount of deviant behavior. Results also indicate that not only do serious offending girls internalize more than serious offending boys, they appear equally likely to externalize. However, although boys exhibit less distress than girls, those boys who report high rates of deviance may exhibit internalizing and externalizing problems similar to girls. The use of social-emotional measures in general, and distinct profiles in particular, may aid in targeting specific programming and treatment in an effort to provide offenders with more effective interventions.
International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology