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ADOLESCENT ROMANTIC RELATIONSHIPS AND DELINQUENCY INVOLVEMENT


DANA L. HAYNIE*
The Ohio State University

PEGGY C. GIORDANO WENDY D. MANNING MONICA A. LONGMORE


Bowling Green State University

KEYWORDS: delinquency

romantic

relationships,

peer

influence,

adolescent

While much attention has centered on the role of peer influence for adolescent delinquency, that of romantic partners has been largely neglected. Recent analyses of romantic relationships during the adolescent period suggest their general importance to development; research highlights that adolescents themselves frequently describe these relations as relatively intimate and influential. Thus, while classic theoretical frameworks such as differential association theory have often centered on the role of peers, their general logic is consistent with the notion that such relationships may indeed matter as a source of influence on delinquent behavior. Data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health are well suited for examining the role of romantic partners because they allow for the identification and recreation of friendship networks and connections between romantic

Address all correspondence to: Dana L. Haynie, The Ohio State University, Department of Sociology, 300 Bricker Hall, 190 N. Oval Mall, Columbus, OH, 43210, email: haynie.7@osu.edu. This research uses data from the Add Health project, a program project designed by J. Richard Udry (PI) and Peter Bearman, and funded by grant P01-HD31921 from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development to the Carolina Population Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, with cooperative funding from 17 other agencies. Persons interested in obtaining data files from The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health should contact Add Health, Carolina Population Center, 123 West Franklin Street, Chapel Hill, NC 27516-2524 : www.cpc.unc.edu/addhealth.

CRIMINOLOGY VOLUME 43 NUMBER 1 2005

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partners. Forging these interconnections, we link friends and romantic partners delinquency to respondents own delinquency, enabling an examination of romantic partner influence on adolescent delinquency, beyond that influence associated with friends behaviors. Drawing on theories of gender stratification, we also explore whether the effect of romantic partners behavior is conditioned by gender. Findings reveal that romantic partners delinquency exerts a unique effect on respondents delinquency net of friends delinquency and control variables. Additionally, romantic partners deviance has a stronger effect on female involvement in minor deviance. We find no evidence, however, that gender conditions the strength of romantic partners more serious delinquency on respondents serious delinquency.

Recent attention directed to the significance of social contexts suggests that adolescent behavior, including delinquency, can be better understood by examining the social environments in which adolescents are embedded. One particularly important context is romantic relationships. While a heightened interest in the opposite sex is a central characteristic of adolescence (Collins, 2003; Sullivan, 1953), much of the research on delinquency emphasizes the influence of peers (for example, Akers, Krohn, Lanza-Kaduce and Rodosevich, 1979; Elliott, Huizinga, and Ageton, 1985; Elliott and Menard, 1996; Haynie, 2001, 2002; Kandel, 1978; Matsueda, 1982; Matsueda and Anderson, 1998; Matsueda and Heimer, 1987; Reiss, 1986; Short, 1957; Warr, 2002). Although the criminological literature has suggested that romantically linked males may initiate females into crime and/or delinquency (for example, Gold, 1970; Magnusson, 1992; Miller, 1986; Pettiway, 1987; Steffensmeier, 1983; Steffensmeier and Allan, 1996; Steffensmeier and Terry, 1986; Warr, 2002), examination of influence dynamics in adolescence has been limited primarily to peer influence. This study draws on data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health) and examines whether romantic partner delinquency has an effect on adolescent delinquency, once the well-documented influence of peers has been taken into account. We also assess whether and to what extent these processes appear to be gendered.

BACKGROUND
What explains the neglect of romantic partner influence in studies of adolescent delinquency? While it is recognized that adolescents spend time with romantic partners, several assumptions foster the belief that same-gender peer groups are more influential. First, friendships are based in similarities. Research has documented strong tendencies toward homophily in friends characteristics, and being the same gender itself

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undoubtedly heightens feelings of identification and thus the likelihood that influence will occur (Youniss and Smollar, 1985). Friendships have been described as an arena of comfort during adolescence (Call and Mortimer, 2001), and as a critical social outlet for identity, relationship and behavioral exploration, including forays into delinquent territory (Hartup, 1996; Savin-Williams and Berndt, 1990; Thornberry and Krohn, 1997). The time peers spend together and the reality that delinquents are frequently arrested with others (Reiss, 1986; Warr, 1996) also likely contributes to the continued theoretical emphasis on peers. Research generally supports the notion that peers exert a significant influence on levels of delinquency, and longitudinal designs have documented effects of both selection (an initial tendency of youths to choose friends with relatively similar conduct) and socialization (a tendency, through mutual influence, for friends to become more similar over time) (Cairns and Cairns, 1994; Kandel, 1978). While the theoretical and empirical basis for emphasizing friendship processes is quite strong, recent research on adolescent romantic relationships suggests that further scrutiny of romantic partner influence is also warranted. We briefly review this literature, and then suggest how the general logic of delinquency theories can accommodate the present focus on romantic partners. RESEARCH ON ADOLESCENT ROMANTIC RELATIONSHIPS Sullivan (1953) emphasized early on that heterosexual involvement is a critical and even defining feature of adolescence, but developmental psychologists, much like their colleagues in criminology, until recently placed much heavier emphasis on friendship. Some early studies included attention to romantic partners, but researchers often either treated these as essentially a subset of the broader category of peer relations (Sharabany, Gershoni and Hofman, 1981), or focused on more limited topics such as sexuality and teen pregnancy (Santelli, Lindberg, Abma, McNeely and Resnick, 2000). This situation is changing rapidly, however, as researchers have increasingly focused on the character, meaning and developmental significance of these relationships during this period (Florsheim 2003; Furman, Brown and Feiring, 1999; Furman and Shaffer, 2003; Giordano, Longmore and Manning, 2001). Such analyses stress that while family and friendship relations change substantially during adolescence, movement into romantic relationships represents a more fundamental shift, a boundary crossing (Furman and Wehner, 1994; Maccoby, 1990). The element of contrast is central to adolescent sexual relationships, while it is not to adolescent friendships. While romantic relations may not contain the levels of homophily and identification so characteristic of adolescent friendships, social psych-

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ologists have noted that they can nonetheless provide a basis for individual growth and social development (Cooley, 1902/1970; Mead, 1934). As Simmel notes: For the actions of the individual, his [her] differences from others is of far greater interest than is his [her] similarity with them. It largely is differentiation from others that challenges and determines our activity.... If something is objectively of equal importance in terms of both similarity with a type and differentiation from it, we will be more conscious of the differentiation (1950:3031). In a recent study involving interviews with a large sample of adolescents, Giordano and colleagues developed a portrait of early romantic liaisons used to assess their meaning and importance for adolescents (Giordano, Manning and Longmore, 2004).1 Findings support the view that romantic relationships provide some of the same rewards and are characterized by some of the same dynamics as friendship. For example, both serve needs for affiliation, sociability and social support, while providing opportunities for communication and intimate selfdisclosure (see also Furman and Hand, 2004; Furman and Wehner, 1994). Yet romantic relations also involve distinctive contrast. First, due to a lack of experience, adolescents frequently describe feelings of social awkwardness and communication difficulties in connection with their romantic attachments. At the same time, romantic partners frequently engender feelings of heightened emotionality (for example, love, sexual attraction, jealousy) that do not have a parallel within the more settled arena of same-gender friendships (Collins and Van Dulmen, 2004). Adolescents also recognize the fragility of many adolescent romantic relationships, and a significant number indicated that one partner in the relationship was more invested, committed or engaged than the other. Such relational asymmetries and the constant potential for breakups contrast with the relatively more open-ended, egalitarian qualities of friendship (Fisher, 2004; Youniss and Smollar, 1985). Further, since young people have previously socialized primarily with same-gender peers, they may bring to the relationship some significant differences in orientation and perspective (Eder, Evans and Parker, 1995). The basic portraitof adolescents highly interested in and often emotionally engaged, but somewhat unsophisticated about how to navigate these early

1. The Toledo Adolescent Relationships Study (TARS) includes four waves of structured interviews with a diverse sample of over 1300 adolescents, with a specific focus on respondents dating and sexual experiences. The design also includes indepth relationship history narratives collected from a subset of 100 of these adolescents.

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relationshipsthen, provides a general framework for our expectation that youths may be receptive to influence or control attempts initiated by the romantic partner. The Toledo Adolescent Relationships Study did document that adolescents frequently attempted to influence their partners, and respondents indicated that they were often influenced by them (Giordano, Manning and Longmore, 2002). In contrast to social dynamics within friendship, wherein reality is often cooperatively coconstructed (Youniss and Smollar, 1985), interviews also revealed that more direct assertions of power occurred frequently within the romantic context. The interview questions in the TARS study, however, referenced only general processes of influence, suggesting the need to focus specific attention on links between romantic relations and behavioral outcomes such as delinquency. DELINQUENCY THEORIES AND ROMANTIC RELATIONSHIPS Sutherland (1939) stressed the role of intimate communication in the process of transmitting prosocial or antisocial definitions, and recognized that associations vary considerably in intensity, priority, frequency and duration. These variations, in turn, influence the likelihood that specific associations will have significant effects on the behavioral choices actors make. For example, romantic relationships may be of particular importance to adolescents (Collins, 2003), and the intensity of these associations may set up conditions favorable to considerable influence. Although research shows that romantic relationships, on average, are not as long lasting as adolescent friendships (Furman and Shaffer, 2003), the qualities of intensity combined with social awkwardness described may nevertheless heighten the prospects for some level of influence to occur. While we have emphasized that these relationships encompass elements of contrast (for example, boys are different from girls; relationship dynamics are distinctive in several respects), research has suggested that principles of homophily are also involved in romantic attraction (Capaldi and Crosby, 1997; McPherson, Smith-Lovin and Cook, 2001). In some cases, romantic partners may be friends before dating or belong to the same general circle of friends, and this too may enhance feelings of identification and intimacy (for useful discussions of the linkages between romantic partners and friendship networks, see Brown, Mory and Kinney, 1994; Connolly, Furman and Konarski, 2001; Connolly and Goldberg, 1999; Milardo, 1982; Zimmer-Gembeck, 1999). Once involved in the relationship, frequent interaction, communication and deepening feelings of regard, along with distinctive dynamics (for example, heightened emotionality, potential for asymmetries, direct assertions of power), provide a basis for expecting that the romantic partner may influence the adolescents attitudes and behavior. Differential association theory thus

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provides a generally useful theoretical framework to guide our analysis. This perspective also accords well with our more general view that intimate associations can have a positive or negative influence on behavioral outcomes depending on the normative orientation of these reference others (Giordano, Cernkovich and Holland, 2003; Haynie, 2001, 2002). Some of the dynamics stressed by social control theorists may also be implicated in romance-delinquency connections. Contemporary versions of control theory, particularly those that emphasize the role of romantic relationships later in life, have shown that romantic attachments may occasion a shift in daily routines and social networks, and have noted that the partner sometimes serves a direct supervision or surveillance function (Laub and Sampson, 2003; Sampson and Laub, 1993).2 These processes could also be involved earlier, as the adolescent romantic partner may also influence and perhaps limit their partners peer interactions (Warr, 1998). Discussions of the good marriage effect have also been stressed in social psychological dynamics, suggesting that strongly bonded individuals may refrain from crime because they do not wish to jeopardize this valued relationship. These mechanisms may also be involved to the degree that we observe a boyfriend or girlfriend effect; yet our views resonate most directly with Matsueda and Heimers (1997) concept of differential social control, a perspective that recognizes the important role of informal social control processes, but highlights that these can be marshaled either in support of conventional or criminal habits (Matsueda and Heimer, 1997, p. 171). Thus, we do not expect strong bonding to be reliably associated with nondelinquency (a pure control perspective), but rather that the effects of this bonding very much depend on the romantic partners behavioral profile.3 This extends the logic used in prior investigations of peer effects to this study of romantic partners (Haynie, 2001, 2002). The symbolic interactionist perspective on delinquency developed by scholars such as Matsueda and Heimer (Matsueda, 1992; Matsueda and Heimer, 1997) also stresses how important self processes are to understanding delinquent behavior. Behaviors such as delinquency derive from and help crystallize particular identities, views of self themselves shaped through social interaction. This insight provides a needed

2. To be sure, Sampson and Laub (1993) have consistently highlighted that the quality of close relationships (that is, level of attachment) may matter as much as the control and supervision generated by the relationship. 3. Hirschi (1969) himself had little to say about bonding to romantic partners, suggesting only that dating was an adult-mimicking behavior, similar to drinking and smoking, that correlated with delinquency involvement.

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corrective to some of the passive vessel assumptions of differential association theory, as identities provide a kind of cognitive filter for decision making as one moves forward and inevitably encounters novel situations. The choice to align oneself with a particular type of romantic partner also likely reflects the actors identity claims or aspirations, and may be implicated in any similarities we observe in the behavior of adolescents and that of their romantic partners. We expect that if behavioral concordance is documented, this involves processes of selection as generally defined (birds of a feather tend to flock together), the actors capacity to make rather intentional agentic moves that could foster a new direction (as when a delinquent chooses to align himself with a goody-goody type girlfriend), as well as traditional effects of social influence that unfold over a period of time (Emirbayer and Goodwin, 1994; Giordano, Cernkovich and Rudolph, 2002; Warr, 2002). In this initial investigation, our objective is to determine whether and to what degree romantic partners delinquency is related to the adolescents, once the well-documented influence of peers has been taken into account. As dating relations during adolescence vary significantlyfrom fleeting liaisons to significant and highly interdependent relationshipswe also examine the degree to which duration and depth of romantic involvement, for example, may moderate the partners influence. Future research using appropriate longitudinal designs will be needed to sort out the relative contributions of selection and socialization on adolescents delinquency and that of their romantic partners. ISSUES OF GENDER While research in this area is not voluminous, the romantic partner has more often emerged in discussions of female than male delinquency. For example, research on the role of early maturation on delinquency suggests that much of the effect of pubertal development operates through the association between maturation and dating, particularly the tendency to date older partners (Magnusson, 1992). Caspi, Lynam, Moffitt and Silva (1993) also found that early maturing girls who attended mixed-gender schools were more likely to be delinquent, compared with those who attended all girls schools. Feminist perspectives on crime have also frequently highlighted the role of negative male influences (Chesney-Lind and Shelden, 1998; Miller, 1998; Richie, 1996). This argument stresses that because girls and women often lack access to traditional sources of power (for example, economic and social status), they are more likely to depend on their attachments to males. Theories of gender stratification do stress the primacy of male influence across settings and contexts, and some experimental research has documented the trend (Maccoby, 1990; Pugh and Wahrman, 1983; Ridgeway, 1991). According to this logic, males

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should be most influenced by their same-gender friends, but females by their romantic partner. Some evidence for this position is provided by Simons and colleagues (2002) finding that the criminality of males is driven largely by connection to deviant friends in adulthood, whereas, both romantic partners behavior and adult friends behavior are connected to female adult criminality. In an adult follow-up study of a sample of highly delinquent girls, however, Giordano, Cernkovich, and Holland (2003) found an opposite effect both partner and friend effects were stronger for male than female respondents in this sample. These different patterns of results may derive from differences in sample type, and as the respondents reference adult social relationships and behaviors, may not effectively capture the dynamics of such influences earlier in the life course. Indeed, in recent analyses Giordano, Manning and Longmore (2004) documented that while both male and female adolescents perceived that they were frequently influenced by their romantic partners, males reported significantly higher levels of partner influence than their female counterparts did. Boys and girls scored similarly on a scale measuring feelings of heightened emotionality (that is, love), but boys also scored higher on feelings of communication awkwardness and lack of confidence in navigating aspects of these early relationships. These findings are consistent with the notion that the same-gender peer group is important to adolescent boys (in the Giordano, Manning and Longmore study, boys also scored higher on perceived peer influence), but suggest the need to explore the role of the girlfriend as a potential source of influence on boys delinquent behavior. As we have said, the influence questions in this study did not specifically refer to delinquent acts, and thus a different pattern may be observed where the referent is delinquency involvement. In addition, while research on the influence of girls, women and romantic partners suggests that it is important to assess links to girls delinquency, the literature on adolescence also documents that girls friendships are highly intimate and generally influential (thus leaving unclear questions about the relative impact of these social domainssee, for example, Cairns and Cairns, 1994; Collins and Laursen, 2000; Giordano, 1978). Therefore, a secondary objective of this analysis is to determine whether any observed effects of romantic partners and friends are uniquely gendered or are more general.

DATA
This study uses data from the first wave of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health), a nationally representative sample of adolescents in grades 7 to 12 nested within randomly selected

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schools in the United States from 1994 to 1996. Unlike other nationally representative surveys of adolescent delinquency that use sample designs to randomly select adolescents from the schools, the Add Health study contains very detailed social network data for students in 129 randomly selected schools stratified by region, urbanicity, school type, ethnic mix and size (Bearman, Jones and Udry, 1997). Within each school, brief surveys were administered to every student attending school that day. Students were asked to identify their closest male and female friends from a school roster (up to five friends of each sex),4 provide demographic information and describe their participation in some minor delinquent activities. Because friendship nominations were recorded by student identification number located on school rosters, it is possible to link most of the students, thus recreating school friendship networks. Following the in-school survey, a random sample of students appearing on school rosters was selected to participate in a more detailed in-home interview (students were stratified by grade and sex).5 These interviews involved more sensitive data, including identification and description of the respondents romantic relationships (information was recorded on up to three of the most recent relationships). Of particular importance for our study, identification of romantic partners allows us to pair adolescents and their partners and to identify partners actual responses to survey items if they attended one of the sampled schools (approximately 50 percent of romantic partners attended one of the sampled schools).6 In-home interviews also collected information on respondent involvement in a more extensive list of delinquent activities.7 Saturation Sample. In contrast to the complete data, where only a random subset of students were interviewed in their homes, in-home interviews were conducted with every adolescent attending school in

4. Although the maximum number of nominations allowed was ten, very few students were affected by this restriction. The mean number of nominations an adolescent identified was 4.15 (standard deviation = 3.02). 5. Approximately 200 adolescents were selected from each of the eighty pairs of schools (the high school and its feeder junior high school). 6. One concern that arises is that out-of-school romantic nominations are not included in our measure of romantic partner deviance and these out-of-school partners may be more likely to be deviant than is the case among in-school partners. While we do not have information on out-of-school romantic partners behavior, we do know that, on average, adolescents who nominate out-of-school partners are not more delinquent than those who nominate in-school partners. Furthermore, excluding out-of-school romantic partners from our estimates of romantic partner behavior should result in a conservative estimate of romantic partner deviance. 7. Data on sensitive topics such as delinquency involvement and romantic partner information were collected using laptop computers, which allowed respondents to listen to prerecorded questions and enter their responses directly.

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fourteen small schools, chosen because of their size, and in two large schools. This sample thus contains information on friends and romantic partners involvement in much more serious delinquency and will be used for supplementary analyses. Although the saturation sample is not nationally representative (in comparison to the complete sample, which we use for our examination of minor deviance), Add Health included a diverse array of schools in the saturated sample to reflect the range of adolescent experiences in the United States (for a detailed description of the Add Health saturation sample, see Haynie, 2002). Although a longitudinal approach to this topic would be ideal, we are reluctant to link partner data from wave one and the respondents wave two delinquency. In well over half the cases, respondents were no longer dating the original partner at the time of the second wave (Carver, Joyner and Udry, 2003). Further, analyses of the temporal patterning of romantic relationships using the TARS data indicate that adolescents in the presumably intact subsample have often broken up at least once and frequently numerous times over a one-year interval. Thus, a relatively larger number of respondents might well be influenced by association with a new boyfriend whose behavior has not been assessed. Therefore, the present analysis of wave one data provides an initial snapshot of the adolescents delinquency in relation to a clearly identified partner, but we recognize the need to follow up with longitudinal analyses, perhaps with a shorter time interval between measurement of relationships and developmental outcomes. As adolescents mature, the average duration of romantic relationships increases, and this too should facilitate the longitudinal approach.

MEASURES
Our dependent variable for the complete sample consists of respondent involvement in minor deviance, including smoking, drinking, fighting and school truancy. In the in-school questionnaire, adolescents were asked: during the past 12 months, how often did you: smoke cigarettes, get drunk, or skip school without an excuse? Responses to each item ranged from 0 = never, to, 6 = nearly every day. In addition, adolescents were asked: in the past year, how often have you gotten into a physical fight? Responses for the fighting item ranged from 0 = never, to 4 = more than seven times. Responses to these four items were summed to create an index of respondent involvement in minor deviance (alpha = .69). Using the saturation sample and the first wave of the in-home survey, our second dependent variable consists of respondents involvement in more serious delinquency including: painted graffiti, damaged property, shoplifted, stole something worth less than $50, stole something worth

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more than $50, burglarized, borrowed a car without the owners permission, sold drugs, involved in a serious physical fight, robbery, participated in a group fight, seriously injured someone, pulled a knife/gun on someone, and shot/stabbed someone. Each item was coded so that 0 = never participated, to 3 = participated five or more times. Adolescents responses to these fourteen items were summed yielding a measure of involvement in serious delinquency (alpha = .86).

PEER AND ROMANTIC PARTNER DELINQUENCY


Much of the research on the role of social influence on delinquency assumes that respondents perceptions of romantic partners and friends attitudes and behaviors accurately reflect the reality of these attitudes and behaviors without allowing for the powerful influence of assumed similarity (Jussim and Osgood, 1989). However, a growing body of research finds that respondent perceptions of others behaviors are not very accurate because adolescents tend to attribute their behavior to significant others, creating an inflated correlation between behaviors. To avoid problems of projection, we rely on the actual responses of identified friends and the romantic partner to a series of questions about their delinquency involvement. Our measure of peer delinquency is calculated as the average response of all identified friends to the same delinquency items comprising the two measures assessing respondents delinquency (measuring friends minor deviance by drawing on the complete sample and measuring friends serious delinquency by utilizing the saturation sample).8 Due to our interest in the relative influence of romantic partners versus peers, we limit our sample to those adolescents reporting heterosexual romantic relationships (over half of the adolescents in Add Health report involvement in romantic relationships). Romantic partner information was solicited in the first wave of the in-home survey by asking adolescents: in the past 18 months, have you had a special romantic relationship with anyone? Although up to three partners could be listed, the majority of respondents (92 percent) report a single romantic partner. Where respondents did nominate more than one partner, our analyses are limited to the first (most recent) partner nominated.

8. Because peer delinquency is skewed positively we conducted supplementary analyses using logged transformed versions of the measures. Results from these supplementary analyses presented similar findings to those reported in the manuscript using the nontransformed measures of peer and partner delinquency.

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ADDITIONAL MEASURES OF THE RELATIONSHIP We include two measures that index variations in the nature of the relationship respondents have developed with their romantic partners. Relationship duration is measured as the number of months that the respondent reports being in the romantic relationship with their identified partner. This is calculated from the beginning and ending dates for the relationship provided by the adolescent. We also include a dummy variable that indicates whether the respondent is missing data on duration. This strategy is necessary because 18 percent of the respondents did not report a beginning date of the current relationship. To assess level of romantic involvement, respondents were provided with a set of cards that referenced various romantic behaviors and were asked to sort and sequence those they had engaged in with (or that characterized their relationship with) the focal partner. These include: told other people that we were a couple, went out together alone, kissed, held hands, gave each other presents and told each other you loved each other. A seventh item, thought of yourselves as a couple incorporates a more subjective assessment of the respondents view of the relationship, and is also included in this scale (alpha = .79; range 06). Although this measure of the quality of the relationship is not ideal, supplementary analysis using the TARS data suggests that responses to these scale items are highly correlated with other more subjective measures of intimacy such as caring and trust, perceived social support, and an index that measures the level of intimate self-disclosure that characterizes the relationship.9

OTHER CONTROLS
We also include controls for respondents age (measured in years),10 gender (female = 1, male = 0), race (white, African American, other race), and family structure (two-parent family = 1, other family types = 0).11 We

9. In addition, a factor analysis of the various romantic behaviors assessed in the Add Health indicated that these seven items loaded on a single factor, confirming that our measure is picking up a dimension of romantic involvement. 10. Preliminary analyses revealed that age has a linear association with respondents self-reports of minor deviance and serious delinquency involvement. 11. We also examined more detailed measures of family structure representing twomarried biological parents, one-biological and one-step parent families, singleparent families, and a residual category capturing other family structure. Results from these supplementary analyses indicated that residing in a household with two married parents offered the greatest protective effect in terms of the association with respondent delinquency. No significant differences were found among the other family structures examined.

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include controls for family socioeconomic status by incorporating a measure of parents highest educational level (ordinal variable recording the parent with the highest education level, ranging from 0 = never went to school, to 9 = received professional training beyond a 4-year college or university), and family receipt of public assistance (yes = 1, no = 0).12

ANALYTIC STRATEGY
All multivariate analyses are estimated using the survey-corrected statistical procedures available in STATA.13 This allows us to correct for the clustered and stratified nature of the sample, ensuring that our estimated standard errors are not underestimated (Chantala and Tabor, 1999). To address our research objectives, we conduct a series of surveyweighted negative binomial regression models. Negative binomial models are best suited for analyses of dependent variables that have a large number of zero values (that is, no delinquency involvement) and a substantial positive skew (that is, a minority of respondents reporting very high levels of delinquency), such as the case of our dependent variables.14 The results from negative binomial models are easy to interpret by exponentiating coefficients so that each unit increase in the independent variable translates into a percent increase or decrease in delinquency. Our primary research objective, an examination of romantic partner influence net of peer influence, will be assessed with two models: first, a regression of respondent delinquency on romantic partners delinquency, net of controls (Model 1), and, second, a regression of respondent delinquency on both peer and romantic partners delinquency, net of controls (Model 2). The models include the measures of romantic involvement and duration. In addition, we examine whether romantic involvement and duration condition the association between romantic partners and adolescents delinquency. We assess the moderating influence by entering interactions between romantic partners delinquency and the duration of the relationship (Model 3) and between partners

12. We considered including a measure of family income as reported by a parent. However, the high proportion of missing data on this indicator of family socioeconomic status suggested that the inclusion of income could potentially bias our findings. 13. We use the STATA procedure svynbreg available in STATA Version 8. 14. The negative binomial model differs from Poisson regression by the addition of a residual variance parameter that captures overdispersion in the dependent variable, which occurs when the standard deviation is greater than the mean. This overdispersion parameter accounts for unexplained variation among cases reflecting differences associated with unobserved predictors (Gardner and Mulvey, 1995).

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delinquency and the index of romantic involvement (Model 4). Finally, to address our second research objective, an examination of whether romantic partner influence is gendered, we assess models that incorporate interactions between the romantic partners behavior and gender (Model 5). We examine the five models separately for our measure of respondents involvement in minor deviance and respondents involvement in serious delinquency (using the saturation sample).

RESULTS
Table 1 presents descriptive statistics for the first set of analyses examining the associations between respondents, romantic partners and friends involvement in minor deviance. Table 2 presents the descriptive statistics for the second set of analyses focusing on more serious delinquency involvement (and relying on the saturation sample).15 Descriptive findings indicate much similarity in respondents friends and romantic partners behaviors with respondent reports of deviance (Table 1) and delinquency (Table 2) most closely resembling romantic partners behavior, on average. In addition, the average respondent is in a romantic relationship that lasts between 8 and 9 months and for which he or she reports relatively high levels of romantic involvement. Table 1. Descriptive Statistics: Minor Deviance (N=2,945)
Variable Deviance Respondent Deviance Romantic Partners Deviance Friends Deviance Control Variables Duration of Romantic Relationships Romantic Involvement Gender (Female) Age Race (African American) Race (Other Race) Family Structure (Two-Parent Family) Parents Education Public Assistance Receipt Missing Duration Mean Std Dev. Minimum Maximum 3.54 3.43 3.17 8.85 4.94 46% 15.72 18.6% 19.3% 74.2% 6.28 4.9% 18% 4.29 3.98 2.28 9.83 1.41 1.59 0 0 0 0 0 12 22 22 18 38 6 20

1.93

15. We evaluate whether there are significant differences between the two samples and find that the only significant difference is that the saturation sample contains a higher proportion of other race adolescents (25 percent) than is the case for the more complete sample (other race = 19 percent).

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Table 2. Descriptive Statistics: Serious Delinquency (N=1,321)
Variable Delinquency Respondent Delinquency Romantic Partners Delinquency Friends Delinquency Control Variables Duration of Romantic Relationship Romantic Involvement Gender (Female) Age Race (African American) Race (Other Race ) Family Structure (Two-Parent Family) Parents Education Public Assistance Receipt Missing Duration Mean 2.82 2.88 2.57 9.62 4.92 46.4% 15.99 17.9% 24.8% 72.1% 6.05 5.5% 19.5%

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Std Dev. Minimum Maximum 4.23 4.56 2.77 10.25 1.43 1.50 0 0 0 0 0 12 37 40 28 38 6 19

1.95

Turning to our multivariate analyses, we begin by examining the correlates of respondents involvement in minor deviance.16 Table 3 (Model 1) first examines the role of romantic partners reports of involvement in minor deviance net of the control variables described above. Results indicate that romantic partners deviance is significantly associated with respondents self-reports of deviance. Each standard deviation increase in romantic partner behavior translates into a 30percent increase in respondent deviance (.30 = 1- (exp(0.26))). In addition, females, younger adolescents, African Americans and adolescents residing in two-parent households report lower levels of involvement in deviant activities (in comparison to males, older adolescents, whites and youth residing in other household structures). Table 4 (Model 2) incorporates our measure of friends involvement in deviance. Results indicate that friends behavior is positively and significantly associated with a respondents behavior net of our control variables. More important, the effect of romantic partners deviance, while reduced in size, remains significantly associated with respondents deviance. Net of friends behavior, a standard deviation increase in romantic partners deviance is associated with an 11-percent increase in respondents deviance (.11 = 1-(exp(0.10))). On the other hand, a standard deviation increase in friends deviance translates into a 55-percent increase in respondents deviance (.55 = 1-(exp(.44))). Comparing the size of the coefficients indicates that friends involvement in deviance

16. To allow for comparisons among coefficients, we standardized all ordinal and continuous variables (mean=0, standard deviation = 1) before conducting the multivariate analyses.

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Table 3. Model 1Survey Corrected Negative Binomial Regression Results: Minor Deviance (standard errors in parentheses)
Variables b Deviance *** Romantic Partners Deviance ^ 0.26 (.02) Friends Deviance ^ Controls Duration of Romantic Relationship ^ 0.02 (.02) Romantic Involvement ^ 0.03 (.03) *** Female -0.55 (.06) *** Age ^ 0.09 (.03) *** African American -0.42 (.07) Other Race -0.07 (.08) ** Two-Parent Family -0.14 (.05) Parents Education ^ -0.04 (.03) Public Assistance Receipt -0.16 (.11) Missing Duration Dummy -0.00 (.05) Interactions: Romantic Partners Deviance* Duration Intimacy Female *** Intercept 1.65 (.06) N 2,945 Chi-Square 3868.78 * ** *** p < .05, p < .01, p < .001 (two-tailed tests) Note: ^ Variable standardized with a mean of 0 and standard deviation of 1. Exp (b) 1.30

1.02 1.03 0.58 1.09 0.66 0.95 0.93 0.96 0.85 1.00

Table 4. Model 2Survey Corrected Negative Binomial Regression Results: Minor Deviance (standard errors in parentheses)
Variables b Deviance *** Romantic Partners Deviance ^ 0.10 (.02) *** Friends Deviance ^ 0.44 (.03) Controls Duration of Romantic Relationship ^ 0.01 (.02) Romantic Involvement ^ 0.03 (.03) *** Female -0.51 (.05) Age ^ 0.01 (.02) * African American -0.17 (.07) Other Race -0.06 (.06) ** Two-Parent Family -0.13 (.04) Parents Education ^ -0.01 (.03) * Public Assistance Receipt -0.23 (.10) Missing Duration Dummy -0.02 (.04) Interactions: Romantic Partners Deviance* Duration Intimacy Female *** Intercept 1.51 (.05) N 2,945 Chi-Square 4320.53 * ** *** p < .05, p < .01, p < .001 (two-tailed tests) Note: ^ Variable standardized with a mean of 0 and standard deviation of 1. Exp (b) 1.11 1.55 0.99 1.03 0.60 1.01 0.84 0.94 0.88 0.99 0.79 0.98

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Table 5. Model 3Survey Corrected Negative Binomial Regression Results: Minor Deviance (standard errors in parentheses)
Variables b Deviance *** Romantic Partners Deviance ^ 0.10 (.02) *** Friends Deviance ^ 0.44 (.03) Controls Duration of Romantic Relationship ^ 0.00 (.02) Romantic Involvement ^ 0.03 (.03) *** Female -0.51 (.05) Age ^ 0.01 (.02) * African American -0.17 (.07) Other Race -0.06 (.06) ** Two-Parent Family -0.14 (.04) Parents Education ^ -0.02 (.02) * Public Assistance Receipt -0.22 (.10) Missing Duration Dummy -0.02 (.04) Interactions: Romantic Partners Deviance* * Duration 0.04 (.02) Intimacy Female *** Intercept 1.51 (.05) N 2,945 Chi-Square 4320.92 * ** *** p < .05, p < .01, p < .001 (two-tailed tests) Note: ^ Variable standardized with a mean of 0 and standard deviation of 1. Exp (b) 1.11 1.55 1.00 1.03 0.60 1.01 0.84 0.94 0.93 0.98 0.80 0.98 1.04

Table 6

Model 4Survey Corrected Negative Binomial Regression Results: Minor Deviance (standard errors in parentheses)
Exp (b) 1.11 1.55 1.01 1.03 0.60 1.01 0.84 0.94 0.88 0.99 0.80 0.98

Variables b Deviance *** Romantic Partners Deviance ^ 0.10 (.02) *** Friends Deviance ^ 0.44 (.03) Controls Duration of Romantic Relationship ^ 0.01 (.02) Romantic Involvement ^ 0.03 (.03) *** Female -0.51 (.06) Age ^ 0.01 (.02) African American -0.17* (.07) Other Race -0.06 (.06) ** Two-Parent Family -0.13 (.04) Parents Education ^ -0.01 (.02) Public Assistance Receipt -0.22* (.10) Missing Duration Dummy -0.02 (.04) Interactions: Romantic Partners Deviance* Duration Intimacy -0.04 (.03) Female *** Intercept 1.51 (.05) N 2,945 Chi-Square 4298.88 * ** *** p < .05, p < .01, p < .001 (two-tailed tests) Note: ^ Variable standardized with a mean of 0 and standard deviation of 1.

0.96

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Table 7. Model 5Survey Corrected Negative Binomial Regression Results: Minor Deviance (standard errors in parentheses)
Variables b Deviance Romantic Partners Deviance ^ 0.05 (.03) *** Friends Deviance ^ 0.44 (.03) Controls Duration of Romantic Relationship ^ 0.01 (.02) Romantic Involvement ^ 0.03 (.03) *** Female -0.51 (.05) Age ^ 0.01 (.02) * African American -0.17 (.07) Other Race -0.06 (.06) ** Two-Parent Family -0.13 (.04) Parents Education ^ -0.01 (.03) * Public Assistance Receipt -0.22 (.10) Missing Duration Dummy -0.02 (.04) Interactions: Romantic Partners Deviance* Duration Intimacy * Female 0.08 (.04) *** Intercept 1.50 (.05) N 2,945 Chi-Square 4332.25 * ** *** p < .05, p < .01, p < .001 (two-tailed tests) Note: ^ Variable standardized with a mean of 0 and standard deviation of 1. Exp (b) 1.05 1.55 0.99 1.03 0.60 1.01 0.84 0.94 0.88 0.99 0.80 0.98

1.08

Table 8.

Model 1Survey Corrected Negative Binomial Regression Results: Serious Delinquency (standard errors in parentheses)
Exp (b) 1.23

Variables b Delinquency *** Romantic Partners Delinquency ^ 0.21 (.04) Friends Delinquency ^ Controls * Duration of Romantic Relationships ^ 0.13 (.07) Romantic Involvement ^ 0.04 (.03) *** Female -1.05 (.11) * Age ^ -0.09 (.04) African American -0.19 (.12) ** Other Race 0.33 (.12) Two-Parent Family 0.02 (.10) Parents Education ^ 0.06 (.03) * Public Assistance Receipt 0.45 (.22) ** Missing Duration Dummy -0.24 (.07) * Interactions: Romantic Partners Delinquency Duration Intimacy Female *** Intercept 1.41 (.13) N 1,321 Chi-Square 2270.16 ** *** p < .05, p < .01, p < .001 (two-tailed tests) Note: ^ Variable standardized with a mean of 0 and standard deviation of 1.

1.14 1.04 0.35 0.91 0.83 1.39 1.02 1.06 1.57 0.79

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Table 9.

Model 2Survey Corrected Negative Binomial Regression Results: Serious Delinquency (standard errors in parentheses)
Exp (b) 1.11 1.35 1.16 1.03 0.35 0.92 0.86 1.27 1.05 1.05 1.58 0.78

Variables b Delinquency * Romantic Partners Delinquency ^ 0.10 (.05) *** Friends Delinquency ^ 0.30 (.05) Controls * Duration of Romantic Relationships ^ 0.15 (.07) Romantic Involvement ^ 0.03 (.04) *** Female -1.05 (.11) * Age ^ -0.08 (.04) African American -0.15 (.11) * Other Race 0.24 (.10) Two-Parent Family 0.05 (.10) Parents Education ^ 0.05 (.03) * Public Assistance Receipt 0.46 (.21) ** Missing Duration Dummy -0.25 (.06) * Interactions: Romantic Partners Delinquency Duration Intimacy Female *** Intercept 1.38 (.12) N 1,321 Chi-Square 2317.33 ** *** p < .05, p < .01, p < .001 (two-tailed tests) Note: ^ Variable standardized with a mean of 0 and standard deviation of 1.

Table 10. Model 3Survey Corrected Negative Binomial Regression Results: Serious Delinquency (standard errors in parentheses)
Variables b Delinquency * Romantic Partners Delinquency ^ 0.10 (.05) *** Friends Delinquency ^ 0.30 (.05) Controls * Duration of Romantic Relationships ^ 0.15 (.07) Romantic Involvement ^ 0.03 (.04) *** Female -1.05 (.11) * Age ^ -0.08 (.04) African American -0.15 (.11) * Other Race 0.23 (.10) Two-Parent Family 0.04 (.10) Parents Education ^ 0.06 (.03) * Public Assistance Receipt 0.46 (.21) ** Missing Duration Dummy -0.25 (.06) * Interactions: Romantic Partners Delinquency Duration 0.02 (.03) Intimacy Female *** Intercept 1.38 (.12) N 1,321 Chi-Square 2318.85 ** *** p < .05, p < .01, p < .001 (two-tailed tests) Note: ^ Variable standardized with a mean of 0 and standard deviation of 1. Exp (b) 1.11 1.35 1.16 1.03 0.35 0.92 0.86 1.26 1.04 1.06 1.58 0.78 1.02

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Table 11. Model 4Survey Corrected Negative Binomial Regression Results: Serious Delinquency (standard errors in parentheses)
Variables b Delinquency * Romantic Partners Delinquency ^ 0.10 (.05) *** Friends Delinquency ^ 0.30 (.05) Controls * Duration of Romantic Relationships ^ 0.15 (.07) Romantic Involvement ^ 0.04 (.03) *** Female -1.05 (.11) * Age ^ -0.08 (.04) African American -0.15 (.11) * Other Race 0.22 (.10) Two-Parent Family 0.04 (.10) Parents Education ^ 0.06 (.03) * Public Assistance Receipt 0.46 (.21) ** Missing Duration Dummy -0.27 (.06) * Interactions: Romantic Partners Delinquency Duration Intimacy 0.07 (.05) Female *** Intercept 1.39 (.12) N 1,321 Chi-Square 2315.46 ** *** p < .05, p < .01, p < .001 (two-tailed tests) Note: ^ Variable standardized with a mean of 0 and standard deviation of 1. Exp (b) 1.11 1.35 1.16 1.04 0.35 0.92 0.86 1.25 1.04 1.06 1.58 0.76

1.07

Table 12. Model 5Survey Corrected Negative Binomial Regression Results: Serious Delinquency (standard errors in parentheses)
Variables b Delinquency * Romantic Partners Delinquency ^ 0.10 (.05) *** Friends Delinquency ^ 0.30 (.05) Controls * Duration of Romantic Relationships ^ 0.15 (.07) Romantic Involvement ^ 0.03 (.03) *** Female -1.05 (.11) * Age ^ -0.08 (.04) African American -0.15 (.11) * Other Race 0.24 (.10) Two-Parent Family 0.05 (.10) Parents Education ^ 0.05 (.03) * Public Assistance Receipt 0.46 (.22) ** Missing Duration Dummy -0.25 (.06) * Interactions: Romantic Partners Delinquency Duration Intimacy Female 0.01 (.05) *** Intercept 1.37 (.11) N 1,321 Chi-Square 2316.12 ** *** p < .05, p < .01, p < .001 (two-tailed tests) Note: ^ Variable standardized with a mean of 0 and standard deviation of 1. Exp (b) 1.11 1.35 1.16 1.03 0.35 0.92 0.86 1.27 1.05 1.05 1.58 0.78

1.01

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is about five times larger than the effect of romantic partners deviance on respondent deviance. Of interest, Model 2 also finds that incorporating friends deviance mediates the effect of age on deviance, indicating that older adolescents report higher levels of involvement in deviance because they are more likely to associate with deviant friends (see also Warr, 1993). In addition, some of the protective effects of gender and race are eroded once friends behaviors are incorporated into the model, again suggesting that friends involvement in deviance mediates some of the effects of these structural indicators. With evidence that romantic partners deviance exerts an independent effect on respondents deviance net of friends involvement in deviance, we examine whether the duration of the relationship or level of romantic involvement conditions the effect of romantic partners behavior on respondent deviance. We note first that in Models 1 and 2, duration and romantic involvement are not significant predictors of the respondents level of involvement in minor deviance. However, Model 3 (Table 5) examines the interaction between romantic partners deviance and the reported duration of the relationship. This interaction is significant and positive, indicating that the effect of romantic partners deviance on respondents deviance varies with the duration of the relationship: there is a stronger association between partner and respondent deviance in longer duration relationships. The interaction between romantic partners deviance and the index of romantic involvement (Model 4/Table 6) is not significant, suggesting that intimacy does not moderate the effect of partner deviance. Model 5 (Table 7) examines whether romantic partners influence varies by gender. Results from this model indicate that among females, romantic partners behavior has a stronger association with respondents reports of minor deviance than is the case among males (see conclusion for a discussion of the implications of this finding). To determine whether romantic partners are more influential among older adolescents, we incorporate an interaction between respondent partners deviance and age. Supplementary analyses examining this provided no evidence that age conditioned the effect of romantic partners behavior on respondents delinquency. In addition, we find no evidence that the effect of this interaction differs by gender. We next examine whether the pattern of results noted above for our measure of minor deviance extends to our measure of more serious delinquency. For these analyses, we turn to Tables 8 through 12 and rely on the smaller saturation sample. Table 8 (Model 1) indicates that romantic partners serious delinquency is associated with respondents delinquency. Specifically, a standard deviation increase in romantic partners delinquency is associated

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with a 23-percent increase in respondent behavior (.23 = 1-(exp(.21))). Similar to our findings for minor deviance, females report lower levels of delinquency compared to males. In contrast to earlier findings, older adolescents are less likely to report serious delinquency, whereas, other race adolescents and adolescents with parents receiving public assistance are more likely to report serious delinquency. In addition, contrary to reported findings for minor deviance, Model 1 (Table 8) provides evidence that involvement in longer-lasting romantic relationships (that is, duration) is associated with higher levels of delinquency. Similarly, the missing duration dummy variable is significant as well, indicating that respondents who did not provide data about the start date of their relationshipsthat is, who were missing on duration datareport lower levels of delinquency. It is possible that individuals who could not remember or did not wish to provide such dates may have been referencing less significant or meaningful relationships. Model 2 (Table 9) incorporates friends involvement in delinquency and results indicate that both romantic partner and friends delinquency are associated with respondent behavior. Controlling for friends delinquency reduces the magnitude of the romantic partner effect, though it remains significantly associated with respondent delinquency. Again, results suggest that though romantic partners delinquency exerts a significant effect on respondent delinquency, the coefficient is about onethird the size of the friends delinquency coefficient. Specifically, a standard deviation increase in romantic partner delinquency is associated with an 11-percent increase in respondent delinquency, compared to a standard deviation increase in peer delinquency translating into a 35percent increase in delinquency. Models 3 and 4 (Tables 10 and 11) examine whether duration of the relationship or the level of romantic involvement condition the effect of romantic partners behavior. Results indicate that this is not the case, because we find no evidence of interactions between romantic partners behavior and relationship duration (Model 3) or romantic involvement (Model 4). In addition, we ask whether the effect of romantic partners behavior is stronger for females as evidenced in Table 3 (where we focused on minor deviance). In contrast to the findings described in Tables 3 through 7, Model 5 (Table 12) finds no evidence that gender conditions the strength of the association between romantic partners delinquency and respondent delinquency. This suggests that at least in terms of serious delinquency, romantic partners behavior similarly influences male and female adolescents. Our primary analytic objectives centered on the role of romantic partners and a determination of whether these effects are gendered. The findings provide only partial support for the notion that girls are more

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influenced by the romantic partner. A gender interaction is significant for minor deviance, but not for serious delinquency. As a final step in the analysis, we explored the second component of the hypothesis: that boys are more influential as reference others regardless of contextthat is, the idea that girls are influenced by boys, but boys are influenced by their same gender peers. A gender by peer deviance interaction term in the model (not shown) is a significant predictor of both our dependent measures of minor deviance and serious delinquency, indicating a differential effect by gender. Interestingly, however, this analysis suggests a stronger effect of peers on delinquency for girls, relative to effects for male respondents. Taken together, these findings indicate that both male and female adolescents are influenced by interactions within their peer and romantic worlds, but the nature of this influence does not consistently follow the logic of a primacy-of-male-influence hypothesis. In addition, influence processes appear to depend on the type of deviance involved, and, to some degree (as in the case of minor deviance), on the duration of the romantic relationship.

CONCLUSION
Although a heightened interest in the opposite sex is considered a central characteristic of the adolescent period (Sullivan, 1953), most delinquency research centered on social networks emphasizes the influence of peers during this phase of the life course. Because both peer and romantic relationships are of great importance to adolescents, an understanding of the relative importance of each contributes to the growing body of knowledge highlighting the importance of multiple sources of social influence on adolescent behavior. Our findings provide evidence that both peer and romantic partner behaviors are associated with adolescent delinquency. In particular, our findings suggest that romantic partners delinquency exerts a unique effect on adolescent involvement in both minor and more serious delinquency, net of the influence of friends behavior. Although romantic partner behavior is associated with adolescents participation in delinquency, the strength of the association is smaller than that found for peer behavior. Despite the weaker association between romantic partner and respondent behavior, findings do indicate that romantic relationships contribute to an understanding of adolescents involvement, even after the welldocumented effect of peers is taken into account. In addition, we find evidence that romantic partner influence in regard to minor deviant behavior (for example, smoking cigarettes, getting drunk, skipping school) is significantly more influential for female than male adolescents. On the other hand, we do not find evidence that gender

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moderates the strength of the association between romantic partners behaviors and adolescents own involvement in more serious delinquency. Perhaps, this suggests that the bad boyfriend explanation is more important for understanding girls behavior when referencing minor delinquent acts, but is not sufficient when examining more serious delinquency. The significant gender by peer delinquency interaction we obtained is also suggestive in this regard. Since girls, on average, evidence low rates of involvement in delinquency, it is likely that those who have moved into delinquency have received strong peer support, perhaps in combination with romantic partner influence, to do so. This idea is consistent with but extends Haynies (2002) finding that belonging to a network where all of ones friends are delinquent (a kind of encapsulation effect) is strongly related to delinquent behavior, relative to the case in which friends behaviors reflect a mixed patternsome evidencing delinquency, some not. Thus, it should be useful in future research to include attention to effects of particular combinations of support for delinquency across multiple domains and whether this notion of encapsulation is more useful for explaining girls relative to boys involvement. Ideally, deviance on the part of family members would also be a part of these analyses. For example, in a qualitative study of the lives of seriously delinquent girls (Giordano and Mohler Rockwell, 2001), findings indicate that crime and/or drug use on the part of family members appeared to be another important component of an encapsulation process (see also Haynie and McHugh, 2002). It is likely that young women may be more susceptible to negative effects of a potentially bad boyfriend when delinquent peer and family definitions are in place. These findings also suggest the need for more research on linkages between intimacy and influence processes. The findings do not support the traditional control theory notion that, on its own, higher levels of attachment (at least as measured by our romantic involvement scale) are associated with lower levels of involvement in delinquent activity (Hirschi, 1969). We find that higher levels of romantic involvement are not related to the respondents reports of minor or serious delinquency, nor does romantic involvement condition the effect of romantic partners behavior. However, duration of the relationship does increase the level of correspondence between partner and respondent behaviors in the case of minor deviance. It is important to follow up these findings with more refined measures of relationship processes, as our measure of romantic involvement is rather limited. Traditional measures of intimacy could be used, and it may be useful to examine links to some of the unique qualities of the heterosexual bond described at the outset. For example, research could explore variations in adolescents levels of emotional investments in the relationship, perceived relational asymmetries (where one partner has

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a greater level of interest/investment than the other), as well as the overall balance of power within these early relationships. Such variations in relationship style and content could affect the partners level of influence in relation to delinquency as well as sexual decision making and other consequential transition outcomes. Another fruitful line of inquiry would be to examine the role and impact of the partner as a source of more tangible support, as this could be a much more important dynamic within disadvantaged social contexts. Coercive control efforts and relationship violence also deserve greater scrutiny as gendered phenomena that connect to girls and womens criminal behaviors and problems with substance abuse (Richie, 1996). Another obvious limitation of the study is that these results are cross sectional. This limits the causal inferences we can make about relationships between the respondents behaviors and romantic partners and friends behavior. Our findings appear to support a social influence model, but as suggested at the outset, are undoubtedly also influenced by the initial choice/selection of friends and romantic partners. As adolescents mature and effects of the family of origin begin to recede in importance (as a factor associated with the patterning of crime), the act of forging particular social alliances need not be conceptualized as an automatic, rather mindless process (like seeks like), however. Since adolescent romantic relations at their core represent an important element of contrast, the development of a new romantic relationship could be an intentional or at least provide a desired hook for behavioral and identity change, and the opportunity to embark on a new life direction. These processes have been described with reference to later phases of the life course, but cognitive transformations and associated agentic moves may also occur in childhood and adolescence as well as during adulthood (Giordano, Cernkovich and Rudolph, 2002). Such dynamic processes are rather difficult to document using traditional quantitative approaches, but in-depth interviews with adolescents could provide a more nuanced portrait of the sequencing of romantic choices, influence processes and associated identity and behavior change. Longitudinal data collection efforts will need to be designed that can account for the relatively short duration of many adolescent romantic relationships, a reality that complicates attempts to establish the strength and direction of effects (since delinquency reports at time two may be influenced by partner(s) who were not identified or described at time one). Finally, while our research highlights the similarity among romantic partner, friends and adolescent delinquency, we have not uncovered the mechanisms responsible for these network effects. To the degree that longitudinal research documents socialization as against merely selection effects, it will be important to explore the dynamics of these influence

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processes and to understand changes over time in the relative salience of the various social domains. Some effects may be indirect. For example, some youths might improve their grades because they do not want to seem dumb in the eyes of their girlfriend. Such changes in daily activities and concerns that connect to the adolescents romantic life could nevertheless influence involvement in delinquent acts. Some mechanisms are undoubtedly more direct, as when a romantic partner actively discourages either delinquent actions or the association with delinquent peers that often fosters them. Such mechanisms could be explicitly compared with peer-based influence mechanisms (for an excellent general discussion of various peer-based mechanisms see Warr, 2002). It will also be important to continue to compare and link this literature conceptually with studies of older respondents (the so-called desistance literature), where the romantic partner has already received more research attention. Developmentally informed theory and research will need to confront not only variations in the likelihood that individuals have a romantic partner, but significant differences in the character and meaning of such relationships for each individual. Along these lines, it would be useful to examine, using longitudinal data sets, key developmental shifts in the relative salience of peers and romantic partners as respondents have matured into adulthood. Research is also needed on whether and how romantic partner influence on delinquency may vary for different race/ethnic groups, or according to social class. For example, using Add Health, Giordano and colleagues (2002) recently documented that African American youth report significantly lower levels of interaction with their romantic partners, fewer romantic behaviors, but relatively longer average duration (Giordano, Manning and Longmore, 2002). Thus, a logical next step is to explore how the experiences associated with race/ethnicity and social class may complicate the basic linkages to delinquency we have documented in the present study. The impact of family dynamics should also be assessed (for example, the notion that deficits in the family area may render the adolescent more susceptible to the romantic partners influence attempts). In sum, while our research highlights the importance of considering romantic partner influence on adolescent involvement in delinquency, future research is needed to explore the considerable nuances affecting these interrelationships.

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Warr, Mark 1993 Age, peers, and delinquency. Criminology 31:17-40. 1996 Organization and instigation in delinquent groups. Criminology 34:11-38. 1998 Life-course transitions and desistance from crime. Criminology 36:183-216. 2002 Companions in Crime: The Social Aspects of Criminal Conduct. New York: Cambridge University Press. Youniss, James and Jacqueline Smollar 1985 Adolescent Relations with Mothers, Fathers, and Friends. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Zimmer-Gembeck, Melanie J. 1999 Stability, change and individual differences in involvement with friends and romantic partners among adolescent females. Journal of Youth and Adolescence 28:419438. Dana L. Haynie is a assistant professor of sociology at the Ohio State University. Her current research examines friendship networks and delinquency, female homicide, and the connection between adolescent residential mobility and problem behaviors. Peggy C. Giordano is a distinguished research professor of sociology at Bowling Green State University. Her research centers on basic social network processes, including friendships and dating relationships, and the ways in which these influence a variety of outcomes, especially delinquency involvement. Wendy D. Manning is a professor of sociology at Bowling Green State University and director of the Center for Family and Demographic Research. Her research focuses on relationships that exist outside the boundaries of marriage, including cohabitation, adolescent dating, and nonresident parenting. Monica A. Longmore is a professor of sociology at Bowling Green State University. Her interests include social psychological processes, including the nature and consequences of dimensions of the self-concept, especially the impact of self-conceptions on adolescent dating and sexual behavior.