- Peers and delinquency among girls and boys: are sex differences in delinquency explained by peer factors?
- European Journal of Criminology
- Volume | Issue number
- 9 | 3
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Research Institute of Child Development and Education (RICDE)
In this article, we investigate sex differences in the relationship between peers and delinquency. We analyse to what extent peers have different effects on delinquency among girls and boys, and to what extent sex differences in the level of delinquency can be explained by differential exposure or vulnerability to criminogenic peer contexts. Data are used from the School Study of the Netherlands Institute for the Study of Crime and Law Enforcement, in which rich data about peers were collected, including measurements of peer delinquency as reported by nominated peers themselves, time spent with peers, peer attachment, peer pressure and the sex composition of peer networks. The results indicate that, although the characteristics of peer relationships differ in many respects between the sexes, the effects of peers on delinquent behaviour are remarkably similar for girls and boys. Further, it appears that the investigated peer variables explain a substantial part of the sex differences in delinquent behaviour.
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