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NCJ Number: 94419 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Delinquent Career-Lines - A Conceptual Link Between Theory and Juvenile Offenses
Journal: Sociological Quarterly  Volume:25  Issue:2  Dated:(Spring 1984)  Pages:155-172
Author(s): D R Smith; W R Smith; E Noma
Date Published: 1984
Page Count: 18
Sponsoring Agency: National Science Foundation
Arlington, VA 22230
US Dept of Justice
Washington, DC 20531
Grant Number: 78-JN-AX-0025; IST-8007433
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Theories of delinquent behavior have failed to adequately explain the seeming lack of specialization or development in the delinquent careers of chronic offenders.
Abstract: The extent to which delinquents specialize in their criminal careers is unclear because of inadequacies in two related areas: the offense typologies or classifications used and the failure to consider in the analysis the entire sequence of crimes. It is argued that both of these areas can benefit from utilization of the 'career-line' metaphor from occupational literature. The arrest histories of a sample of 767 juveniles were analyzed with a technique -- variance centroid scaling -- desirable for the classification or scaling of crime. Four dimensions were discovered. An analysis of 62 careers in the sample reveals that three forms of 'developmental' careers are prevalent: careers that move (1) from burglary to serious crimes against persons, (2) from status offense to auto theft, and (3) from all crimes to drug use. The implications of these results are discussed for issues of specialization and diversity in delinquent careers and the respecification of theories and intervention strategies. (Author abstract)
Index Term(s): Crime patterns; Juvenile delinquency theory; Juvenile recidivists; Offense classification
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