Violence and Externalizing Behavior Among Youth in the United States: Is There a Severe 5%?

Michael G. Vaughn, Christopher P. Salas-Wright, Matt DeLisi, Brandy R. Maynard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

204 Citations (Scopus)


Despite research demonstrating that approximately 5% of study populations are composed of severely antisocial persons who account for a disproportionate share of problem behaviors, there have been no nationally representative studies assessing this phenomenon among adolescents. Using a large nationally representative sample (N = 18,614), we identified a severe group (4.7% of respondents) characterized by involvement in varied and intensive externalizing behaviors, greater internalizing, lower academic achievement, and less parental involvement. The current study is the first nationally representative study of criminal careers/externalizing behaviors among adolescents in the United States, which is convergent with prior research and theory.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-21
Number of pages19
JournalYouth Violence and Juvenile Justice
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Jan

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed the receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: Received Post-doctoral grant funding (Maynard) from the Institute of Education Sciences, grant # R324B080008.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Law


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