skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 229667 Find in a Library
Title: Crime During the Transition to Adulthood: How Youth Fare as They Leave Out-of-Home Care, Executive Summary
Author(s): Gretchen Ruth Cusick; Mark E. Courtney; Judy Havlicek; Nathan Hess
Date Published: January 2010
Page Count: 15
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
Washington, DC 20531
National Institute of Justice/NCJRS
Rockville, MD 20849
NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Grant Number: 2005-IJ-CX-0031; 2005-IJ-CX-4031
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/NCJRS
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Document: PDF
Dataset: DATASET 1
Type: Report (Study/Research) ; Report (Summary)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This is the executive summary of a study that examined criminal behavior and criminal-justice-system involvement of youth making the transition from out-of-home care to independent adulthood, with attention to the influence of youths' experiences in the child welfare system.
Abstract: The study found that offending patterns among youth aging out of foster care were similar to those of youth of that age in the general population, i.e., offending peaked during late adolescence and declined into adulthood. Regarding whether out-of-home care experiences and social bonds predicted self-reported criminal behavior and the risk for arrest, the study found that foster care experiences predicted both violent and nonviolent self-reported crime. High numbers of foster-care placements contributed to increases in both violent and nonviolent crime. This was the case particularly for African-American youth involved in nonviolent crime. Also, the link between group care and violent crime was particularly strong for African-American youth. Youth who accessed independent living services had lower violent behavior, with reported violent crime decreasing by 2 percent for every independent living service received. There was only limited evidence that social bonds predicted violent or nonviolent behavior. Only about 20 percent of the foster youth became chronic offenders, with somewhat less than half being nonviolent chronic offenders. Foster youth were much more likely than their peers to be arrested as they made the transition to adulthood. There is clearly a need to ensure that older foster youth are provided with positive opportunities and direction as they begin their independent living, including employment and education. Study data came from the Midwest Study of the Adult Functioning of Former Foster Youth (n=767), a longitudinal panel study that is part of a collaborative effort of the State public child welfare agencies in Illinois, Iowa, and Wisconsin and several universities. 8 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile offenders
Index Term(s): Comparative analysis; Foster adolescents; Habitual offenders; Juvenile foster homes; Juvenile to adult criminal careers; NIJ final report; Violent juvenile offenders
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.