Romantic partners' contribution to the continuity of male and female delinquent and violent behavior

Veronica M. Herrera, Jacquelyn D. Wiersma, H. Harrington Cleveland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Using data drawn from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health), this study examined males' and females' criminality in young adulthood with models that considered the associations of both their own past delinquency and their current partners' criminality. Specific models considered the main effects of both previous adolescent delinquency and violence and current opposite sex romantic partners' criminality and violence, as well as the interaction of these with each other and by sex of primary participant. Main effects for adolescent delinquency and partners' criminality were significant; however, the results of the interactions by sex suggest different patterns of results for males and females. Models run separately by sex showed that having a prior delinquent history predicted adult criminality for males but not for females, while being in a relationship with a criminal partner increased the odds of criminal behavior in young adulthood for both males and females. A different pattern of results was found for violence in young adulthood. Having a prior violent history predicted adult violence for males and females. However, being in a relationship with a violent partner increased the odds of violent behavior for females only.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)608-618
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Research on Adolescence
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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