Family disruptions such as divorce or children being forced to live elsewhere are tougher on boys than girls, according to a newly published University of Florida study, which finds that rates of male juvenile delinquency and drug use rise when the household composition changes.

When families go through transitions such as children leaving home to live with grandparents or a mother’s boyfriends moving in or out of the house, boys are more likely to find trouble by running with the wrong crowd, said Marvin Krohn, a professor in UF’s department of criminology, law and society, who led the study.

“While girls may respond to what goes on in the family by being depressed or showing signs of stress, boys are much more likely to externalize their displeasure with what goes on in the family by acting up,” Krohn said. “They react to the turmoil by seeking out friends who are
engaged in delinquent behavior, which increases the probability they will commit delinquent acts themselves.”

Source: University of Florida News
http://news.ufl.edu/2009/04/08/family-transitions/