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Purpose. The present study was intended to compare difference in research variables between delinquent adolescents and student adolescents, and to analyze discriminative factors of delinquent behaviors among Korean adolescents. Methods. The research design of this study was a questionnaire survey. Questionnaires were administered to 2,167 adolescents (1,196 students and 971 delinquents), sampled from 8 middle and high school and 6 juvenile corrective institutions, using the proportional stratified random sampling method. Statistical methods employed were Chi-square, t-test, and logistic regression analysis. Results. The discriminative factors of delinquent behaviors were smoking, alcohol use, other drug use, being sexually abused, viewing time of media violence and pornography. Among these discriminative factors, the factor most strongly associated with delinquency was smoking (odds ratio: 32.32). That is, smoking adolescent has a 32-fold higher possibility of becoming a delinquent adolescent than a non-smoking adolescent. Conclusions. Our findings, that smoking was the strongest discriminative factor of delinquent behavior, suggest that educational strategies to prevent adolescent smoking may reduce the rate of juvenile delinquency. Antismoking educational efforts are therefore urgently needed in South Korea.