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NCJ Number: 204090 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Changes in Friendship Relations Over the Life Course: Implications for Desistance From Crime
Journal: Criminology  Volume:41  Issue:2  Dated:May 2003  Pages:293-327
Author(s): Peggy C. Giordano; Stephen A. Cernkovich; Donna D. Holland
Date Published: May 2003
Page Count: 35
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Mental Health
Bethesda, MD 20852
Grant Number: MH29095; MH46410
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examined how changes in friendship relations over the life course impact criminality.
Abstract: Prior research has established the relationship between associating with delinquent or criminal friends and the likelihood of engaging in criminal activities. Peer influences play a large role in whether a person engages in crime. Furthermore, while the relationship between age and crime has been well established, scant research has focused on how changes in adult friendships may be related to reductions in criminal activities. As such, the primary objective of this study was to probe how changes in friendships over the life course relate to the suppression of criminal activities. Variables under consideration in addition to peer involvement include age and gender. During 1982, interviews were conducted with 127 delinquent girls in a State-level institution in Ohio. In 1997, 85 percent of these 127 girls were located and re-interviewed. Additionally, life history narratives were elicited from 180 respondents (97 women and 83 men). Results of statistical analyses reveal that marriage can help reduce the risk associated with criminal peer contacts, but this risk reduction is not inevitable. The effect of marriage on the reduction of criminal activity is thought to be a function of less time spent with friends outside of the marriage. Other findings indicate that respondents rated peer pressure as significantly less problematic during the second phase of interviews and many respondents commented on the benefits of associating with noncriminal peers. Analysis of the gender of respondents indicates that women’s level of criminal involvement may be less reliant on peer influences than their male counterparts. Tables, references
Main Term(s): Criminality prediction; Peer influences on behavior
Index Term(s): Environmental influences; Inmate marriages; Personal interviews
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