Data from a longitudinal study of male and female youth were used to examine the association between cumulative levels of delinquency and drug use from early adolescence to young adulthood. Results from a principal components analysis indicated that delinquency and drug use represent two distinct dimensions of problem behavior. Subjects were categorized into four groups based on their cumulative levels of drug use and delinquency over a nine-year period. Group differences in the reactive coping use of problem behaviors, in psychological problems, and in personality traits were assessed. Results indicate that subjects who are high in both drug use and delinquency have significantly higher levels of mental health problems than all other subjects. Overall, the findings support the notion that the expression of deviance is not necessarily undifferentiated. Instead, different individuals may specialize in different forms of deviance.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Health(social science)
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Psychiatry and Mental health