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Int J Offender Ther Comp Criminol. 2018 May;62(6):1603-1628. doi: 10.1177/0306624X16688978. Epub 2017 Jan 20.

Does Violence in Adolescence Differentially Predict Offending Patterns in Early Adulthood?

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1 The University of Texas at Dallas, Richardson, USA.


Previous research is mixed on whether the commission of a violent offense in adolescence is predictive of criminal career characteristics. In the current study, we addressed the following: (a) What factors predict the commission of serious violence in mid-adolescence? and (b) Does involvement in serious violence in mid-adolescence lead to more chronic and/or more heterogeneous patterns of offending in early adulthood? Data were obtained from the Pathways to Desistance Study, a longitudinal study of serious adolescent offenders in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Phoenix, Arizona. Prior arrests, violence exposure, and gang involvement distinguished adolescents who engaged in violence at baseline. A violent offense at baseline was not predictive of a higher frequency of rearrests but was associated with membership in the low offending trajectory. In conclusion, violent offending in adolescence might be a poor predictor of chronic and heterogeneous patterns of offending throughout the life course.


Pathways to Desistance; adolescence; early adulthood; trajectories; violent offending

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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