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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 50855 Find in a Library
Title: PERSISTENCE OF LABELING EFFECTS
Journal: BRITISH JOURNAL OF CRIMINOLOGY  Volume:18  Issue:3  Dated:(JULY 1978)  Pages:277-284
Author(s): D P FARRINGTON; S G OSBORN; D J WEST
Corporate Author: Institute for the Study and Treatment of Delinquency
United Kingdom
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 8
Sponsoring Agency: Great Britain Dept of Health and Social Security
London, England
Great Britain Home Office
London, SW1H 9AT, England
Institute for the Study and Treatment of Delinquency
London, EC4 P4EE, England
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: SELF-REPORTING DELINQUENCY QUESTIONNAIRES WERE ADMINISTERED TO 215 WORKING-CLASS LONDON YOUTHS AT AGES 14, 18, AND 21 TO DETERMINE THE EFFECT OF LABELING ON CONVICTED YOUTHS.
Abstract: THE SELF-REPORTED DELINQUENCY SCORE AT 21 YEARS OF AGE WAS DERIVED FROM EACH PERSON'S REPORT OF THE FREQUENCY WITH WHICH HE COMMITTED THE FOLLOWING SEVEN SPECIFIED ACTS WITHIN THE PREVIOUS 2 YEARS: STEALING FROM WORK, TAKING AND DRIVING AWAY, OBTAINING MONEY BY DECEPTION, BREAKING AND ENTERING, STEALING FROM CARS, STEALING FROM SLOT MACHINES, AND SHOPLIFTING. SELF-REPORTED DELINQUENCY SCORES WERE OBTAINED ALSO FROM THE SAME INDIVIDUALS AT 14 YEARS AND AT 18 YEARS OF AGE. IN THE SAMPLE OF 215 YOUTHS, JUST OVER HALF HAD BEEN CONVICTED BEFORE THEIR INTERVIEW AT 21 YEARS. THE REMAINING YOUTHS HAD NO CONVICTIONS. RAW SELF-REPORTED DELINQUENCY SCORES AT AGES 14, 18, AND 21 YEARS WERE NOT DIRECTLY COMPARABLE BECAUSE THEY WERE DERIVED FROM DIFFERENT QUESTIONNAIRES. SCORES AT ONE AGE CORRELATED SIGNIFICANTLY, HOWEVER, WITH SCORES AT THE OTHER TWO AGES. IN ORDER TO PRODUCE DIRECTLY COMPARABLE SCORES, THE RAW SCORES AT EACH AGE WERE RANKED AND THE RANKS WERE CONVERTED INTO PERCENTILES. THE HYPOTHESIS THAT INDIVIDUALS PUBLICLY LABELED AS DELINQUENT WILL INCREASE THEIR DELINQUENT BEHAVIOR WAS SUPPORTED. YOUTHS FIRST CONVICTED BETWEEN 18 AND 21 YEARS OF AGE SIGNIFICANTLY INCREASED THEIR SELF-REPORTED DELINQUENCY SCORES DURING THIS PERIOD. THIRTY-NINE YOUTHS, ALREADY FOUND GUILTY IN COURT WHEN THE FIRST SELF-REPORTED DELINQUENCY QUESTIONNAIRE WAS COMPLETED AT 14 YEARS, SIGNIFICANTLY DECREASED THEIR SELF-REPORTED DELINQUENCY SCORES BETWEEN 14 AND 21 YEARS. GENERALLY, MORE AGGRESSIVE ATTITUDES WERE OBSERVED AMONG YOUTH AT 18 AND 21 YEARS THAN AT 14 YEARS. CONVICTIONS BETWEEN 18 AND 21 YEARS OF AGE WERE NOT PRECEDED BY ANY INCREASE IN SELF-REPORTED DELINQUENCY AT 18 YEARS, SUGGESTING THAT THE INCREASE IN DELINQUENCY FOLLOWED AND WAS CAUSED BY CONVICTION. THE HIGH SELF-REPORTED DELINQUENCY SCORES OF YOUTH FIRST CONVICTED BEFORE 14 YEARS OF AGE DID NOT PERSIST UP TO 21 YEARS. IT APPEARS THAT FIRST CONVICTIONS HAVE A DEVIANCE-AMPLIFYING EFFECT. REFERENCES AND SUPPORTING DATA ARE PROVIDED, BUT THE QUESTIONNAIRES ARE NOT INCLUDED. (DEP)
Index Term(s): Comparative analysis; Deviance; England; Juvenile delinquency factors; Juvenile Delinquent-nondelinquent comparisons; Labeling theory; Self reported crimes
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=50855

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