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The European Journal of Psychology Applied to Legal Context

On-line version ISSN 1989-4007Print version ISSN 1889-1861


NASAESCU, Elena et al. Longitudinal patterns of antisocial behaviors in early adolescence: a latent class and latent transition analysis. The European Journal of Psychology Applied to Legal Context [online]. 2020, vol.12, n.2, pp.85-92.  Epub June 29, 2020. ISSN 1989-4007.

Antisocial behaviors in adolescents are present and prevalent around the world and have harmful consequences for individuals and societies. The research focused on antisocial behaviors in young people has been very fruitful, but studies are usually fragmented and focused on specific problem behaviors either in school or outside of school. Although victim-offender overlap was described in many studies, most projects focused either on victims or on offenders. This prospective longitudinal study was conducted to discover patterns of antisocial behavior from a comprehensive perspective, including different problem behaviors in and out of schools, focusing on both victimization and offending. A sample of 450 early adolescents was followed-up during one school year. Latent class and latent transition analyses were performed and identified four groups of students. These groups were: low antisocial, highly antisocial and victimized, high bullying victimization, and high offending outside of school. Transition analyses showed that the low antisocial and offenders outside of school groups were relatively stable over time. Students in the high bullying victimization group transitioned to different groups, and students in the highly antisocial and victimized group either remained in the highly antisocial group or transitioned to high offending outside of school. Findings suggest that single antisocial behaviors are not common and students who display one problem behavior usually display other problem behaviors. Early adolescents who are involved in antisocial behaviors in one time period frequently remain involved one year later. It is therefore possible that the antisocial potential of some adolescents is expressed in different contexts. This has important implications for research and practice that need to adopt a more holistic and comprehensive approach.

Keywords : Antisocial behavior; Bullying; Cyberbullying; Latent class analysis; Latent transition analyses; Longitudinal study.

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