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NCJ Number: 137082 Find in a Library
Title: Stability of Criminal Potential From Childhood to Adulthood
Journal: Criminology  Volume:30  Issue:2  Dated:(May 1992)  Pages:235-260
Author(s): D S Nagin; D P Farrington
Date Published: 1992
Page Count: 26
Sponsoring Agency: National Science Foundation
Arlington, VA 22230
Grant Number: SES-9023109
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Data on 403 males for which complete conviction histories from ages 10 to 31 were available were analyzed to determine the relative merits of two alternative interpretations of the well-established positive association between past and future criminal behavior.
Abstract: The first explanation is that prior participation in criminal behavior has a genuine behavioral impact that increases the likelihood of future participation. The second is that stable, unmeasured differences exist in criminal potential across the population. Many general theories of crime can be interpreted as suggesting one of these interpretations. This analysis used a panel data set assembled by Farrington and West in a prospective longitudinal survey of males from a working-class area of London. The data collection began in 1961-62, when most of the boys were about age 8. To the extent possible, all were interviewed at intervals of about 2-3 years until they were age 32. Parents, teachers, and friends were also interviewed, and information from official records was collected. The results suggested that the positive association is largely attributable to stable, unmeasured individual differences. Tables and 45 references (Author abstract modified)
Main Term(s): Crime causes theory; Juvenile to adult criminal careers
Index Term(s): Correlation of delinquency to adult crime; Criminality prediction; Juvenile delinquency factors; Recidivism causes
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