Early disruptive behaviors associated with emerging antisocial behaviors among girls.
Bierman, K. L., Bruschi, C., Domitrovich, C., Fang, G. F., Miller-Johnson, S., & Conduct Problems Prevention Research Group. (2004). Early disruptive behaviors associated with emerging antisocial behaviors among girls. In M. Putallaz & K. L. Bierman (Eds.), Aggression, antisocial behavior, and violence among girls (pp. 137-161). Guilford Press.
Abstract: Despite being less prevalent among girls than among boys, disruptive behavior problems are a major mental health problem for girls. Prior research demonstrates that children with disruptive behaviors also experience significant social and academic achievement problems during grade school, and are at high risk for antisocial and maladaptive behavior in adolescence. Hence, these problems require early identification and intervention. Prior research on the developmental progression of disruptive behavior has focused primarily on boys; however, recent studies suggest that there may be important gender differences in the development of disruptive behavior problems. The present study hypothesizes that disruptive behavior of girls may be underidentified with measures that emphasize aggressive behavior, thus underestimating girls' risk for later antisocial activity. The authors use data from the Fast Track study of high-risk youth to evaluate gender differences in the efficacy of a narrow screening strategy, emphasizing overt aggression, compared with a broader screening strategy that includes nonaggressive oppositional and inattentive-hyperactive behaviors (along with overt aggression). They find significant predictability for both girls and boys when the broad spectrum of disruptive behaviors is used to indicate risk.