Pathways and predictors of antisocial behaviors in African American adolescents from poor neighborhoods

Nan S. Park, Beom S. Lee, Fei Sun, Alexander T. Vazsonyi, John M. Bolland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Antisocial behavior among youth remains a serious personal and social problem in the United States. The purposes of this study were to (1) identify the shape and number of developmental trajectories of antisocial behavior in a sample of poor, inner-city African American youth, and (2) test predictors of group membership and the developmental course of antisocial behaviors. Using growth mixture modeling, we examined predictors of antisocial behavior pathways and the likelihood of arrest in a sample of 566 poor, urban African American adolescents (ages 11 to 16). Three distinct trajectory classes of antisocial behavior were identified over a period of six years: one low-risk group (low steady) and two high-risk groups (incremental and high starter). The conditional probabilities for being arrested during ages 14-16 were 0.18 for the low steady class, 0.68 for the incremental class, and 0.31 for the high starter class. Prevention strategies for adolescents at high risk are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)409-415
Number of pages7
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2010

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The research reported here was partially supported by the National Institutes of Health Office for Research on Minority Health through a cooperative agreement administered by the National Institute for Child Health and Human Development ( HD30060 ); by a grant from the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration ( TI13340 ); by a grant from the National Institute for Drug Abuse ( DA017428 ); by the Cities of Mobile and Prichard ; by the Mobile Housing Board ; and by the Mobile County Health Department .


  • African American adolescents
  • Antisocial behavior
  • Longitudinal analysis
  • Pathways
  • Poverty
  • Violence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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