Do “bad boys” really get the girls? Delinquency as a cause and consequence of dating behavior among adolescents
Drawing on Zahavi's (1975) handicap principle, we suggest that delinquency and other risk-taking behavior might be seen as evidence of positive, adaptive qualities such as nerve and bravery. Drawing on Akers' (1998) social learning theory, we also suggest that potential romantic partners might be attracted to such traits and that this romantic attention might reinforce delinquency and other risk-taking behavior. Using data from the first and third waves of the National Youth Survey, we test these assertions with a series of longitudinal OLS and contemporaneous-effects covariance structure models. Results suggest that delinquency serves to increase romantic involvement and that romantic involvement may provide vicarious, but not necessarily direct, reinforcement for delinquency among both male and female adolescents.
Taylor & Francis
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Rebellon & Michelle Manasse (2004) Do “bad boys” really get the girls? Delinquency as a cause and consequence of dating behavior among adolescents, Justice Quarterly, 21:2, 355-389, DOI: 10.1080/07418820400095841
© 2004 Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences