Developmental and sex differences in types of conduct problems

Quyen Q. Tiet, Gail A. Wasserman, Rolf Loeber, Larkin S. McReynolds, Laurie Miller Brotman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Maternal report of types of conduct problems in a high-risk sample of 228 boys and 80 girls (ages 4-18) were examined, using a version of the Child Behavior Checklist, expanded to include a range of covert and overt antisocial items (stealing, lying, physical aggression, relational aggression, substance use, and impulsivity). Age and sex effects were investigated. Boys were significantly more physically aggressive than girls. There were no sex differences for stealing, lying, relational aggression, and substance use. Lying and substance use increased with age, whereas relational aggression and impulsivity peaked during early adolescence. A small group of girls had pervasive conduct problems across multiple domains. For some domains such as stealing, lying, and relational aggression, girls showed at least as many problems as boys. Girls, in general, tended to have fewer conduct problems. On the other hand, when assessed across multiple domains, conduct problems in high-risk girls were possibly more pervasive than in high-risk boys, suggesting the possibility of a gender paradox.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)181-197
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Child and Family Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2001


  • Aggression
  • Conduct problems
  • Lying
  • Sex differences
  • Stealing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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