Attitudes About Behavior

Developed for the Pittsburgh Youth Study (Loeber, Stouthamer-Loeber, van Kammen & Farrington, 1991 and 1998). Pittsburgh Youth Study, The Department of Psychiatry of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, 3811 O'Hara Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15213.

Abstract: The Attitudes About Behavior measure is a 16-item measure that assesses the youth's tolerance regarding a variety of delinquent behaviors ranging from skipping school, to stealing, assault, and substance use. The items are rated on a four-point scale from 1=not wrong at all to 4=very wrong. The data was fairly skewed towards the end of the scale (very wrong), especially for the items pertaining to a more serious type of offense. Loeber et al. (see reference) developed two subscales: attitude towards substance use, containing items 12 to 16 and attitude towards delinquency, containing items 1 to 11, with the exception of item # 4 (having sexual intercourse). A summary mean score was created for each of these subscales. The items were also subjected to an exploratory factor analyses with principal component, using promax rotation. Three eigenvalues greater than the commonly used 1.0 cutoff were detected. An examination of the 2-factor and 3-factor structure showed that the third factor only contained 3 items and did not have a well-defined conceptual meaning. The two-factor solution, divided the items in a group of serious offenses (steal $50, breaking and entering, joyriding, assault, robbery, smoking, drinking, drug use and selling) and a group of less serious offenses (skip school, lie/disobey, damage someone else's things, sexual intercourse, steal something worth $5, fights). Because of the high inter-subscales correlations, it is recommended that the analyst use of the total score for analyses, unless there is a specific interest in differentiating between severities, or of type of behavior.

Who Completed this Measure?: Target Child/Youth (now in adulthood)

Cohort 1 - Administrative History

  • Year 08 | grade 7 | age 13
  • Year 09 | grade 8 | age 14

Cohort 2 - Administrative History

  • Year 08 | grade 7 | age 13
  • Year 09 | grade 8 | age 14

Cohort 3 - Administrative History

  • Year 08 | grade 7 | age 13
  • Year 09 | grade 8 | age 14

Technical Reports:

Raw Dataset Name: CyU

Scored Dataset Name: AABySCc

Alcohol, Delinquent Behavior, Expectations, Sexual Intercourse, Smoking, Substance Abuse, Theft, Tolerance

Is this Measure Available for Public Use?: Yes

Obtain Measure:
Download the measure here

SAS Code for Scale Creation:
Download the code here

Measure Items and Scales:

Scored Dataset Contents

tcid Study ID Number
site Study Site
cohort Cohort
INTID Interviewer ID Number
C9U1 Skip School Without An Excuse
C9U2 Lie/Disobey/Talk Back to Adults
C9U3 Purposely Damage Someone Elses Things
C9U4 Have Sexual Intercourse
C9U5 Steal Something Worth 5 dollars
C9U6 Steal Something Worth 50 dollars
C9U7 Go Into a Building to Steal Something
C9U8 Go Joyriding Without Owners Permission
C9U9 Hit Someone/Get Into a Physical Fight
C9U10 Attack Someone W/ a Weapon to Injure The
C9U11 Use Weapon to Get Money/Things From Othe
C9U12 Smoke Cigarettes or Chew Tobacco
C9U13 Drink Beer/Wine/Alcohol W/O Par Knowledg
C9U14 Use Marijuana/Hashish/Pot
C9U15 Use Hard Drugs (Heroin/Cocaine/LSD)
C9U16 Sell Drugs
SITECODE Actual Sitecode Entered
AAB9SER Serious Offenses - AAB - Year 9
AAB9LSS Less Serious Offenses - AAB - Year 9
AAB9SAB AttitudeTowardsSubsAbuse - AAB - Year 9
AAB9DEL AttitudeTowardsDelinquency - AAB - Year 9
AAB9TOT Item Total - AAB - Year 9