Seattle Social Development Project - Project Overview

The Seattle Social Development Project (SSDP) is a longitudinal study guided by the social development model (Catalano and Hawkins, 1996), which incorporates information on how protective and risk factors work together to enhance both positive and antisocial development. The model builds on differential association theory (Cressey, 1953; Matsueda, 1988), social learning theory (Bandura, 1977), and social control theory (Hirschi, 1969). The model hypothesizes that socialization follows the same processes whether it produces prosocial or problem behavior and suggests that development of prosocial or antisocial behavior is influenced by the degree of involvement and interaction with prosocial or delinquent peers (differential association), the skills required and the costs and rewards for that interaction (social learning), and the extent to which the youth subsequently become bonded toprosocial or antisocial individuals (social control).

The study has followed a multiethnic urban sample of 808 children since they entered the fifth grade in 1985. The sample includes nearly equal numbers of males (n=412) and females (n=396). Slightly fewerthan half (46 percent) identified themselves as European-Americans. African-Americans (24 percent) and Asian-Americans (21percent) also made up substantial portions of the sample. The remaining youth were Native-American (6percent) or of other ethnic groups (3percent). Forty-six percent of respondents' parents reported a maximum family income under $20,000 per year in 1985, and more than half of the sample (52 percent) participated in the National School Lunch/School Breakfast Program at some point in the fifth through seventh grades, indicating that they came from families in poverty. The analyses presented in this Bulletin are based on surveys conducted when the youth were age 13 (n=654), 14 (n=778), and 15 (n=781). Sample sizes vary for each assessment year based on the number of respondents who completed the interview in that year. Nonparticipation was not related to gender, lifetime use of tobacco or alcohol, or participation in delinquency by age 10, nor was it consistently related to ethnicity. Data were obtained from the youth and from King County court records.

Gang Membership, Delinquent Peers, and Delinquent Behavior Juvenile Justice Bulletin · October 1998