Links between Pubertal Timing, Peer Influences, and Externalizing Behaviors among Urban Students Followed Through Middle School

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Tracy R. Nichols, Associate Professor and Doctoral Program Coordinator (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:

Abstract: Purpose: To evaluate underlying mechanisms of the association between early pubertal timing and both aggression and delinquency among a sample of minority males and females from an urban community.Methods: The association between perceived early pubertal maturation and aggressive or delinquent behaviors for African American and Latino males and females (n = 1366) was examined, as well as pathways between early maturation and these negative outcomes longitudinally across 6th, 7th, and 8th grades.Results: Early maturers reported higher mean levels of both aggression and delinquency at all time points regardless of gender or ethnicity. Associating with delinquent peers in 6th grade fully mediated the association between early maturation and both aggression and delinquency at all time points. Early maturers did not differentially associate with greater numbers of delinquent peers in either 7th or 8th grade.Conclusions: These results provide valuable information regarding at-risk groups and inform future intervention efforts.

Additional Information

Journal of Adolescent Health, 40(2), 181.e7-181.e13
Language: English
Date: 2007
Aggression, Delinquency, Delinquent peers, Pubertal timing, Longitudinal, Mediation, Urban, Minority, Middle school, Adolescence

Email this document to