A series of studies was conducted to compare group differences in the goal orientations of delinquent, at-risk, and not-at-risk adolescents. An Importance of Goals Scale was developed by examining the item responses of 230 high school students and validated by administering the revised scale to 80 delinquent, 90 at-risk, and 90 not-at-risk adolescents. Results identified differences in the importance attributed to different goals by the 3 groups. Delinquent and at-risk adolescents attached significantly more importance to goals associated with developing a social image (e.g., delinquency, freedom-autonomy), whereas not-at-risk adolescents were more concerned with goals associated with an academic image (e.g., educational, interpersonal). Results are discussed in terms of their implications for school achievement, peer relations, and future life paths.