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.


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.

Dataset Names

Raw Dataset Name: CyU
Scored Dataset Name: AABySCc


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