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Female and male antisocial trajectories: From childhood origins to adult outcomes

  • Candice L. Odgers (a1), Terrie E. Moffitt (a2) (a3), Jonathan M. Broadbent (a4), Nigel Dickson (a4), Robert J. Hancox (a4), Honalee Harrington (a5), Richie Poulton (a4), Malcolm R. Sears (a6), W. Murray Thomson (a4) and Avshalom Caspi (a2) (a3)...

This article reports on the childhood origins and adult outcomes of female versus male antisocial behavior trajectories in the Dunedin longitudinal study. Four antisocial behavior trajectory groups were identified among females and males using general growth mixture modeling and included life-course persistent (LCP), adolescent-onset, childhood-limited, and low trajectory groups. During childhood, both LCP females and males were characterized by social, familial and neurodevelopmental risk factors, whereas those on the adolescent-onset pathway were not. At age 32, women and men on the LCP pathway were engaging in serious violence and experiencing significant mental health, physical health, and economic problems. Females and males on the adolescent-onset pathway were also experiencing difficulties at age 32, although to a lesser extent. Although more males than females followed the LCP trajectory, findings support similarities across gender with respect to developmental trajectories of antisocial behavior and their associated childhood origins and adult consequences. Implications for theory, research, and practice are discussed.

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Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Candice L. Odgers, Department of Psychology and Social Behavior, University of California–Irvine, Irvine, CA 92697-7085; E-mail:
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This work was supported by grants from the US National Institute of Mental Health (Grants MH45070 and MH49414), UK Medical Research Council (G0100527), Economic and Social Research Council, William T. Grant Foundation, Health Research Council of New Zealand, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (756-2004-0041), and US National Institute for Dental and Craniofacial Research (R01 DE-015260-01A1). Candice L. Odgers is a Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Trainee. Terrie E. Moffitt and Avshalom Caspi are Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award holders. We thank the Dunedin study members, Unit research staff, Alan Taylor, Louise Arsenault, Daniel Nagin, and study founder Phil Silva.

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