Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

John K. Cochran, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Christine S. Sellers, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Shayne Jones, Ph.D.


life-course, developmental, predictors, females, early


The age of onset of delinquency has long been viewed as a primary indicator for further delinquency and criminality. However, studies on the risk factors for onset, and future delinquency have focused predominantly on males. The purpose of this study was to explore gender differences and similarities in risk factors for onset and frequency of arrest. The data used in these analyses were from a longitudinal study, Pathways to Adulthood: A Three Generational Urban Study, 1960-1994. Sixty-six percent (N=1,758) of the eligible children completed the final survey. Of these children, only 515 were used in this particular study because they had documented ages of first arrest. It is hypothesized that 1) female "early" onset occurs at a later age from that of male "early" onset, 2) risk factors predictive of early onset will differ across gender, and 3) "early" onset in females will be predictive of frequency of subsequent arrests.With these data, the author uses OLS regression, logistic regression, and negative binomial regression to evaluate these hypotheses regarding age of onset, risk factors for onset, and frequency of arrest. Insufficient evidence was found to support the hypotheses of the current study. A discussion of the findings, as well as implications and calls for future research are discussed