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NCJ Number: 236347 Find in a Library
Title: Operationalizing Crime Over the Life Course
Journal: Crime & Delinquency  Volume:55  Issue:3  Dated:July 2009  Pages:472-496
Author(s): Stacey J. Bosick
Date Published: July 2009
Page Count: 25
Document: PDF
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article evaluates issues concerning declining trends in the National Youth Survey.
Abstract: Pointing to declines in self-reported criminality across waves of the National Youth Survey, several researchers have concluded that “testing effects” may render longitudinal self-report data unreliable. This article argues that the issue remains unsettled on two accounts. First, alternative explanations for the declines have not been fully addressed. These include matters of scale construction, item-specific age—crime curves, and selective attrition. Second, previous research tends to conflate two types of testing effects explanations: panel fatigue and changing content validity. Each of these five explanations has different implications and is explored in the present article. Through this series of analyses, the author concludes that the declines stem from item-specific issues, namely, the inclusion of early-peaking offenses in the scales and the changing content validity of some survey items. Implications are discussed with respect to how criminologists operationalize key constructs such as crime and deviance and how one studies the age—crime relationship. (Published Abstract)
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Data collections; Evaluation measures; Longitudinal studies; Self-report studies; Surveys; Youth (Under 15)
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