Teenaged boys often prefer the anti-social route to popularity while teenaged girls are more keen on their education and academics, says a new study on teen behaviour and goals conducted in Spain.
The objective was to study how teenagers' goals were structured and the relationship between these goals and antisocial behaviour.
'Girls placed more importance on goals related to education and family aspects, while boys set targets that were more anti-social,' explains Laura Lopez Romero, who co-authored the study with Estrella Romero.
'Anti-social goals are to deceive, steal or bypass rules and laws. It allows them to achieve social recognition, establish an identity and antisocial reputation, which gives them a certain level of popularity,' says Romero, University of Santiago de Compostela (USC).
The study was based on questionnaires handed out to a sample of 487 participants, aged between 12 and 18 years, which included 233 boys and 254 girls.
The students had to state the importance they place on each goal, using a scale of six options.
'Then we analysed the young people's involvement in anti-social behaviour,' the expert points out.
The researchers also studied the role of gender in the relationship between goals and antisocial behaviour, said an USC release.
The only common factor was their goal of leaving home. Both groups scored same in terms of their aspirations about gaining freedom.
The study has been published in the Spanish Journal of Psychology.