Skill deficits and male adolescent delinquency

T. J. Dishion, R. Loeber, M. Stouthamer-Loeber, G. R. Patterson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

79 Scopus citations


The research literature on juvenile delinquency shows that antisocial adolescents are often lacking in academic, interpersonal, and work skills. Past research on antisocial adolescents has focused primarily on the relationship between single skill deficits and official delinquency. The present report extends this body of literature by investigating the relationship between seven measures of skill and official and self-reported delinquency in a nonclinical sample of 70 white male adolescents. Youths classified as delinquent on the basis of prior police contact had a lower multivariate profile on seven measures of academic, interpersonal, and work skills. Five of the seven measures correlated significantly with both the official and self-reported criteria of delinquency. Academic skill deficits may be the strongest covariates of antisocial behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-53
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Abnormal Child Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 1984

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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