Substance Use and the Trajectory of Delinquency Among Young Males

Lening Zhang, Saint Francis College
John W. Welte, Research Institute on Addictions
William F. Wieczorek, Buffalo State College

Using data from three waves of the Buffalo Longitudinal Study of Young Men with a probability sample of 625 males aged 16-19, the impact of substance use on adolescent maturing out of delinquency is assessed. Specifically, the study focuses on the effect of substance use on delinquency desistance and delinquency reduction. The findings indicate that the prevalence and the level of substance use significantly and negatively affect delinquency desistance and delinquency reduction, which implies that substance use significantly impairs adolescent ability to mature out of delinquency and merge into the mainstream of society as they grow up.

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Updated 05/20/2006