Trajectories of desistance and continuity in antisocial behavior following court adjudication among serious adolescent offenders

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Title Trajectories of desistance and continuity in antisocial behavior following court adjudication among serious adolescent offenders
Author Mulvey, Edward P.; Steinberg, Laurence; Piquero, Alex; Besana, Michelle; Fagan, Jeffrey; Schubert, Carol; Cauffman, Elizabeth
Journal Name Development and Psychopathology
Year Published 2010
Place of publication United Kingdom
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Abstract Because many serious adolescent offenders reduce their antisocial behavior after court involvement, understanding the patterns and mechanisms of the process of desistance from criminal activity is essential for developing effective interventions and legal policy. This study examined patterns of self-reported antisocial behavior over a 3-year period after court involvement in a sample of 1,119 serious male adolescent offenders. Using growth mixture models, and incorporating time at risk for offending in the community, we identified five trajectory groups, including a “persister” group (8.7% of the sample) and a “desister” group (14.6% of the sample). Case characteristics (age, ethnicity, antisocial history, deviant peers, a criminal father, substance use, psychosocial maturity) differentiated the five trajectory groups well, but did not effectively differentiate the persisting from desisting group. We show that even the most serious adolescent offenders report relatively low levels of antisocial activity after court involvement, but that distinguishing effectively between high-frequency offenders who desist and those who persist requires further consideration of potentially important dynamic factors related to this process.
Peer Reviewed Yes
Published Yes
Alternative URI http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0954579410000179
Copyright Statement Copyright 2010 Cambridge University Press. The attached file is reproduced here in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.
Volume 22
Page from 453
Page to 475
ISSN 0954-5794
Date Accessioned 2011-02-02
Language en_AU
Faculty Arts, Education and Law
Subject Causes and Prevention of Crime
URI http://hdl.handle.net/10072/36431
Publication Type Journal Articles (Refereed Article)
Publication Type Code c1x

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