ANTISOCIAL GIRLS AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF DISRUPTIVE BEHAVIOR DISORDERS
Elizabeth Talbott University of Illinois at Chicago
Kevin Callahan University of North Texas
Boys dominate classes for students with emotional and behavioral disorders ( Callahan, 1994), referrals for mental health services ( Achenbach & Edelbrock, 1981), and arrests for violent crime ( Chesney-Lind & Shelden, 1992). However, girls' disruptive behavior disorders are as disturbing to parents as the disorders of boys ( Moore & Mukai, 1983), and their disorders are more likely than boys' to co-occur with depression, anxiety, and delinquency during adolescence ( Loeber & Keenan, 1994). Furthermore, girls with a history of disruptive behavior disorders during childhood are more likely than girls without such a history to experience early sexuality and pregnancy, school dropout, and substance use during adolescence ( Cairns & Cairns, 1994; Serbin, Peters, McAffer, & Schwartzman, 1991). Disruptive behavior disorders (i.e., conduct disorder and oppositional defiant disorder, according to the DSM-IV), are the second most common of the psychiatric disorders that girls experience ( American Psychiatric Association, 1994; Zoccolillo, 1993). To prevent disruptive behavior disorders and their comorbid problems from continuing through adolescence, it is best to identify and treat them early in the course of their development. However, girls' disruptive behavior disorders may not be easily identified in childhood and they do not proceed as clearly as the behavior disorders of boys. In this chapter, we address critical issues in the study of girls' disruptive behavior disorders across and within developmental periods. These issues include measurement, prediction, and comorbidity.