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Research review: A critical review of studies on the developmental trajectories of antisocial behavior in females

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Knowledge on the onset and the development of antisocial behavior in females is limited, because most of the research in this domain is based on males. Methods: 

We critically reviewed 46 empirical studies that examined developmental trajectories of antisocial behavior in females, notably to help determine whether or not an early-onset/life-course-persistent trajectory exists in females. Results: 

The review suggested that antisocial behavior in females can follow different developmental trajectories (e.g., early-onset/life-course-persistent, childhood-limited, adolescence-limited, adolescence-delayed-onset, adulthood-onset). However, many of the studies reviewed were limited by factors such as the use of global measures of antisocial behavior, the identification of the trajectories based on threshold criteria, and the small sample sizes. Conclusions: 

Future studies should take into account the shortcomings highlighted in this review. Such studies are needed to improve the understanding and prevention of the development of antisocial behavior in females.
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Keywords: Antisocial behavior; developmental trajectories; females

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: University of Montréal, Canada 2: King’s College London, Institute of Psychiatry, MRC Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre, UK 3: International Laboratory for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Development, University of Montréal, Canada and INSERM U669, France

Publication date: April 1, 2009

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