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NCJ Number: 44456 Find in a Library
Title: PREDICTION OF JUVENILE OFFENDING - A NEW ZEALAND STUDY
Author(s): D M FERGUSSON; A A DONNELL; S W SLATER; J FIFIELD
Corporate Author: New Zealand Joint Cmtte on Young Offenders
Research Unit
New Zealand
Date Published: 1975
Page Count: 132
Sponsoring Agency: New Zealand Joint Cmtte on Young Offenders
Wellington, New Zealand
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: New Zealand
Annotation: THIS LONGITUDINAL STUDY OF 5,472 BOYS WHO WERE FOLLOWED FOR 7 YEARS FINDS THAT DATA COLLECTED AT AGE 10 HAS SOME VALUE IN IDENTIFYING POTENTIAL JUVENILE OFFENDERS.
Abstract: IN 1967, EVERY BOY BORN IN 1957 ATTENDING A NEW ZEALAND STATE SCHOOL WAS THE SUBJECT OF A QUESTIONNAIRE BY HIS CLASS TEACHER. THIS QUESTIONNAIRE CONTAINED A COPY OF THE 1956 VERSION OF THE BRISTOL SOCIAL ADJUSTMENT GUIDE (BSAG) AND A NUMBER OF QUESTIONS ON BACKGROUND, SCHOOL PERFORMANCE, PERSONAL CHARACTERISTICS, AND HEALTH. THESE BOYS WERE THEN FOLLOWED UNTIL THE END OF 1973 IN ORDER TO DETERMINE THE NUMBER WHO CAME INTO CONTACT WITH CHILDREN'S COURT AND FOR WHAT OFFENSES. STATISTICAL ANALYSIS OF THE RESULTS INDICATES THAT SOME PREDICTION IS POSSIBLE BUT THAT THE PROCEDURE HAS LITTLE PRACTICAL UTILITY. AT BEST THE RESULTS PROVIDE BROAD GUIDELINES. THOSE WITH BSAG SCORES OF 0-3 AND A 7.7 PRECENT RISK OF COMMITTING AN OFFENSE HAD AN AVERAGE OF .133 COURT APPEARANCES; THOSE WITH SCORES OF 4-8 AND 12.6 PERCENT RISK AVERAGED .222 APPEARANCES. THOSE WITH SCORES OF 21-29 AND A 22.6 PERCENT RISK HAD .547 APPEARANCES, AND THOSE WITH SCORES OVER 30 AND A 29.3 PERCENT RISK HAD .863. WHILE THESE VARIATIONS ARE HIGHLY SIGNIFICANT STATISTICALLY, THEY ARE NOT PREDICTIVE SINCE MANY OF THE BOYS WITH HIGH SCORES HAD NO COURT APPEARANCES OR ONLY ONE OR TWO MINOR APPEARANCES. INCREASING PREDICTIVE EFFICIENCY BY WEIGHTING VARIOUS FACTORS HAS NEGLIGIBLE VALUE. DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE FINDINGS OF THIS STUDY AND THOSE OF THE ORIGINAL BSAG STUDY IS PROBABLY DUE TO THE FACT THAT THE ORIGINAL INSTRUMENT WAS DEVELOPED WITH BOYS KNOWN TO BE DELINQUENT, TOGETHER WITH A CONTROL GROUP. THE EFFECT OF THE KNOWN DELINQUENCY PROBABLY AFFECTED STUDY RESULTS. HOWEVER, THE BSAG INSTRUMENT AND ASSOCIATED BACKGROUND QUESTIONS MAY HELP IDENTIFY HIGH RISK BOYS SO THAT APPROPRIATE INTERVENTION MAY BE DESIGNED. THE DOCUMENT ALSO DETAILS MATHEMATICAL METHODS USED IN THE STUDY, A SURVEY OF THE LITERATURE, A DEFENSE OF PREOFFENSE INTERVENTION, AND A COMPARISON OF SCORES FOR THIS GROUP OF BOYS WITH SCORES FOR THE BSAG VALIDATION SAMPLE. (GLR)
Index Term(s): Cohort studies; Juvenile delinquency factors; Juvenile delinquency prediction; Longitudinal studies; New Zealand
Note: RESEARCH REPORT N3
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=44456

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