Factors related to the desistance of crime in a longitudinal sample
AdvisorMcCloskey, Laura A.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThis study examines characteristics of those who desist from compared to those who persist in delinquency over a two year span. Stability of antisocial behavior is a well accepted finding in the social sciences. In addition, many other individual characteristics associated with crime, such as impulsivity, are considered to be stable. These individual characteristics also show a relationship to long term negative outcomes of adult criminality and poor work history. Other variables that correlate with adolescent delinquency are parental monitoring, peer deviancy, and school attachment. While there is stability in antisocial behavior, there is also change; many individuals desist from delinquency as they age. Participants in this study were adolescents involved in a longitudinal study (N = 278). Results show a high degree of stability in delinquency as well as in other correlates of delinquency. Parental monitoring, peer deviancy, and school attachment are all related to delinquency, yet when the subjects are divided into persisters (n = 73) versus desisters (n = 35), these same variables are not significantly related to desistance. This suggests that the variables related to onset may be different from those related to desistance from delinquency. Nonetheless, if one takes a more dynamic perspective of this relationship, change can be seen. Change in impulsivity, risk taking, temper, peer substance use, and school attachment relates to a deceleration in delinquent activity. Results are discussed from a developmental perspective.
Degree ProgramGraduate College