Female Adolescent Friendship and Delinquent Behavior

By Pleydon, Anne P.; Schner, Joseph G. | Adolescence, Summer 2001 | Go to article overview

Female Adolescent Friendship and Delinquent Behavior


Pleydon, Anne P., Schner, Joseph G., Adolescence


ABSTRACT

Young female offenders (n = 29) and female high school students (n. = 47) were compared in terms of delinquent behavior, and relationships with their best female friend and peer group. Young offenders exhibited significantly more delinquent behavior than did high school students in the past year. Delinquents and nondelinquents did not significantly differ in amount of companionship, conflict, help, security, and closeness with their best female friend, and amount of trust, alienation, and perceived intimacy in their peer group. Less communication and more perceived peer pressure in the peer group distinguished delinquent females from nondelinquent females. Perceived peer pressure significantly predicted delinquent behavior in female adolescents. In short, friendships of delinquent and nondelinquent female adolescents are essentially similar despite higher levels of peer pressure among delinquents.

The relationship between delinquency and quality of friendship in adolescent females is a question of current interest, since the incidence of female delinquency is reported to be increasing. A deviant peer group is the strongest predicator of female adolescent delinquency when parents, school, and other interpersonal factors are controlled for (Aseltine, 1995; Brownfield & Thompson, 1991; Gomme, 1985), and friendship is an important aspect of peer relationships. The emotional and attachment aspects of the peer group are, however, unclear because there are confounding notions of delinquent friendships as "intimate" versus "nonintimate." Essentially, the two portraits of adolescent friendship are the products of two theories of delinquency: social control theory (nonintimate) and social learning theory (intimate delinquent peer relationships).

Social control theorists propose that individuals are delinquent because controls are absent or defective (Shoemaker, 1996). According to Hirschi (1969), these controls are either intraindividual (e.g., impulse control) or interpersonal (e.g., attachment, commitment, and involvement with regard to family, school, peers, and religion). Hirschi suggests that there is a negative relationship between attachment/commitment and delinquency. Social control theory also sees delinquent friendships as conflicted, troubled, unstable, and marked by feelings of less trust and lower security. Poor social skills, weak familial relations, and overall low attachment to social institutions do not allow for healthful friendships between delinquents. Such disturbed relationships between female delinquents--relationships that are less trusting and more conflicted--have been reported by Brownfield and Thompson (1991), Giordano, Cernkovich, and Pugh (1986), Marcus (1996), Windle (1994), and Yates, Hecht-Lewis, Fritsch, and Goodric h (1993).

In contrast, social learning theorists propose that delinquent friendships are close, intimate, and essentially similar to those of nondelinquents. According to social learning theory, an individual cannot be influenced by someone or something unless there is some vested interest or attachment (Cotterell, 1996; Sutherland & Cressey, 1978). Thus, the stronger the attachment, the stronger the potential influence. If delinquents are encouraged, taught, or pressured to be delinquent by other delinquents, there must be some level of attachment. Several researchers have noted that attachment to female peers is positively associated with delinquency (Brownfield & Thompson, 1991; Bowker & Klein, 1983; Claes & Simard, 1992; Elliot, Huizinga, & Ageton, 1985; Erickson & Jensen, 1977; Gardner & Shoemaker, 1989; Giordano, 1978). These researchers have looked at aspects of trust, self-esteem, identity, intimacy, conflict, and peer pressure in relation to delinquency, and have reported mixed results regarding trust in deli nquent friendships. According to Giordano et al. (1986), there are no differences between delinquents and nondelinquents in caring and trust, although females display higher levels of both. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Female Adolescent Friendship and Delinquent Behavior
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.