Generality versus Specificity of Problem Behavior: Psychological and Functional Differences

Helene Raskin White, Erich W. Labouvie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)55-74
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Drug Issues
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1994

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Generality versus Specificity of Problem Behavior: Psychological and Functional Differences'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this