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In their model, boys tend toward child-onset antisocial behavior because of certain risk factors, and girls typically begin these behaviors in adolescence. Similarly, recent research found that girls who have more other-sex friends engaged in higher levels of serious violence, and that this effect increased in proportion to the of other-sex friends in their friendship network Haynie et al. Darling et al. Given that the importance of other-sex and same-sex friendships changes over the course of early adolescence, it is pertinent to investigate the effects of other-sex friendships spanning this developmental time period.

Our study addresses several gaps in the literature by examining other-sex friendship in early adolescence and the relationship between friends and antisocial behavior. Silverthorn and Frick contended that onset trajectories for boys and girls have less to do with differential risk factors and more to do with gender differences. Although preadolescence continues to be characterized primarily by same-sex friendships Zarbatany et al. Prior to the onset of adolescence, boys and girls become socialized primarily within same-sex contexts Bukowski et al.

This study examines the relationship between having other-sex versus same-sex best friends and antisocial behavior throughout early adolescence. Regardless of the specific etiology, girls tend to demonstrate increases in antisocial behavior during the time the of other-sex friendships increases in early adolescence. We predicted that having other-sex best friends would influence the rate of antisocial behavior over time in different ways for boys than for girls. During adolescence, girls begin to demonstrate antisocial behaviors comparable to those of their male counterparts.

During the transition to adolescence, other-sex relationships are important because they represent the merging of two gender cultures into more meaningful relationships. This desire to move toward adulthood compels boys and girls to be attracted to those who demonstrate more power and adhere most strongly to traditional male sex roles.

Kovacs and colleagues clarified that the negative effects of having other-sex friends are only present in the absence of same-sex friends.

We specifically investigate the frequency of other-sex best friendship across sixth, seventh, and eighth grade. Boys and girls did not differ in their descriptive experiences in mixed-sex groups; both rated mixed-sex contexts as more enjoyable than same-sex-only contexts in eighth grade.

Bukowski et al. Because girls tend to value close relationships characterized by intimacy Bukowski et al. Associating with deviant peers has been related to the onset of antisocial behavior in adolescence, even for those who have not demonstrated childhood antisocial behaviors Capalidi and Patterson For boys, deviancy of best friends has been demonstrated to be a predictor of delinquency in early adolescence despite controlling for preadolescent delinquency Vitaro et al.

This may be partially explained by the type of other-sex friends girls are attracted to in early adolescence.

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Some studies have demonstrated that young adolescents continue to prefer same-sex peers to other-sex peers Bukowski et al. In other research, boys were also found to be more attracted to more dominant male peers as well as to aggressive female peers.

Implications for the development of early adolescent friendship and antisocial behavior are discussed. Peer relationships are highly influential in the development and course of antisocial behavior in adolescence, and close friendships may be especially important Pedersen et al.

This research confirms the increase in the of other-sex peer relationships and indicates that these relationships are even preferred by the time early adolescents are transitioning into late adolescence.

These authors demonstrated that conceptions of other-sex and same-sex friendships diverged. While fulfilling a need for intimacy, girls could be particularly susceptible to encouragement toward antisocial behavior when it is enacted as part of maintaining a close relationship.

Second, we investigate the effects of having other-sex versus same-sex best friends on antisocial behavior in early adolescence, which had not been studied ly. Although children endorsed similarities between these types of friendships, early and late adolescents expressed more similarities among same-sex friends and less among other-sex friends.

Same-sex versus other-sex best friendship in early adolescence: longitudinal predictors of antisocial behavior throughout adolescence

It was expected that girls who have other-sex best friends would show increased rates of antisocial behavior compared with girls who have same-sex-only best friends. A study by Bukowski and colleagues supports both seemingly contradictory findings: other-sex and same-sex friends were equally endorsed in general, but best friends were still predominantly same-sex peers. Moffitt and colleagues Moffitt, asserted that boys and girls exhibit different developmental trajectories and etiological profiles of antisocial behavior.

The sample comprised two cohorts recruited and assessed beginning in the 6th grade. Similarly, Laird et al. Rates of serious violence were reduced for boys who had other-sex friends, and the proportion of other-sex friends in their friendship networks did not influence these outcomes.

If other-sex relationships negatively affect social competence, they may be related to social difficulties in early adolescence, as well. The authors found no differences between delinquent and nondelinquent same-sex best friendships in terms of intimacy, companionship, conflict, help, loyalty, security, and closeness. Reaching this biological transition earlier than their peers has been found to be particularly challenging for girls. For example, Dishion and colleagues have shown that, in the context of time new interactions, youth support sex other in the development of friend behavior single deviant talk, laughter, and other nonverbal supports for antisocial behavior Dishion et al.

This same study demonstrated opposite seekings for boys. Early menarche has been found to be a risk factor for behavior problems if girls have other-sex peer relationships Caspi et al. First, we replicate findings that the of other-sex friendships increases throughout early adolescence. Pleydon and Schner examined delinquent and nondelinquent girls and their relationships with their same-sex best friend and their peer group. The question of the impact of other-sex friendships may be better answered by examining sex differences, given that childhood socialization experiences occur in different contexts for boys and for girls.

One of the most important social transitions in early adolescence is the formation of other-sex peer relationships Connolly et al. This change implies that both girls and boys are more likely to engage with more aggressive and deviant boys upon entering early adolescence. Higher rates of concurrent antisocial behavior were related to having other-sex best friends in 6th grade but not in 7th grade.

Sroufe and colleagues demonstrated that socially competent preadolescents did not have other-sex friends, and those with other-sex friends had lower levels of social competence. Participants were randomly ased at the individual level into a treatment or control group as a part of a larger longitudinal study that targeted at-risk and high-risk youth with a family-centered, school-based intervention to reduce substance use Project Alliance; Dishion and Kavanagh of the intervention are published in Connell et al.

Specifically, this study examines the relationship between the sex of best friends and antisocial behavior concurrently within each grade and longitudinally.

The literature has clearly demonstrated that children and adolescents do indeed have other-sex friendships and best friendships distinct from romantic relationships, that these types of relationships increase during adolescence, and that these relationships are viewed as distinct from same-sex friendships McDougall and Hymel Although many studies have examined the interaction between peer rejection and antisocial behavior over time, few have closely studied the impact that same-sex versus other-sex friendships have on later problem behavior for boys and girls.

However, there were differences between the two peer groups: delinquent girls reported more peer pressure and a greater of other-sex peers than did nondelinquent girls. The mechanism for adolescent development of antisocial behavior for girls in particular has been the subject of debate. In 8th grade, there was an interaction between friendship and the sex of friends. Although young adolescents prefer same-sex peers, other-sex peers increase in importance over time.

Participants in this study included ethnically diverse young adolescents enrolled in three public middle schools in a Pacific Northwest metropolitan area. These findings suggest that the of other-sex friendships does increase during early adolescence, while close friends continue to be typically those of the same sex.

Although girls are subject to the same risk factors as their male counterparts, they do not express their maladjustment externally until early adolescence, because of gender socialization. indicate that the frequency of other-sex best friendship remained stable from 6th to 7th grade but ificantly increased from 8th to 11th grade.

Conversely, it was expected that boys who endorsed girls as best friends would show lower rates of both concurrent and subsequent antisocial behavior.

The participants self-identified as European American Friendship in general may serve different functions for boys than for girls, and other-sex relationships are likely characterized by their individual expectations and needs as two friendship cultures are merged.

They concluded that the same qualities that contribute to successful close friendships are those that provide a support structure for the development and maintenance of antisocial behavior. This finding makes sense given that friendship follows a developmental sequence that allows for more emphasis on abstract features of friendship e.

This study will examine boys' and girls' friendships with same-sex and other-sex peers as predictors of antisocial behavior in middle school and high school. They also observed that norms for other-sex relationships were not consistently established until eighth grade.

However, research has just begun to examine other-sex relationships in early adolescence, the point at which mixed friendship groups become more salient Savin-Williams and Berndt and more time is spent with other-sex peers Blyth and Traeger ; Darling et al.

This somewhat sudden shift toward other-sex and mixed-sex socialization in early adolescence is a critical social transition, especially considering that friendship is uniquely important to the social, emotional, and behavioral development of these youth.

However, these same girl and boy participants differed in their conceptualizations of girls' friendship: The girls indicated more intimacy in these relationships than in their other-sex friendships, whereas boys did not endorse intimacy as a stronger feature in girls' relationships than in boys'. Having other-sex best friends predicted antisocial behavior from 6th to 7th grade and 8th to 11th grade, especially for girls. Boys with only same-sex best friends and girls with other-sex best friends endorsed higher rates of antisocial behavior.

Early and late adolescent participants agreed that the primary function of boys' friendships is to engage in activities.

It seems that pubertal onset, which occurs in early adolescence, contributes to various forms of psychological maladjustment for girls, including antisocial behavior. Although there appears to be little difference between boys and girls regarding antisocial behavior prior to kindergarten Keenan et al.

Same-sex friendship dominates the childhood peer socialization experience from preschool through grade school Gottman ; Howes ; Maccoby Maccobydiscusses the influences of gender-segregated socialization in childhood, which is apparent as early as at 2 years old, and observes that boys and girls accomplish social adaptation within same-sex friendships.

research has examined other-sex friendships in children de Guzman et al.

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