Delinquency During the Adolescent Life-Course: An Integrated, Developmental Theory

Terrance J. Taylor, University of Nebraska at Omaha

Developmental theories of juvenile delinquency and adult crime have become en vogue among criminologists since the 1980s. Much of the interest in these theories stems from a collective sentiment that previously developed theories lacked an appreciation for the complex relationships between past and current behavior in intra-individual change over the life span. Methodological (e.g., structural equation and multi-level modeling programs; availability of data from longitudinal research designs) and technological advances (i.e., the widespread availability of relatively-inexpensive, powerful personal microcomputers) now allow researchers the ability to empirically evaluate these complex social relationships. The current project uses data from a prospective longitudinal study of adolescents in six U.S. cities to test an integrated, developmental model of delinquency. Implications for criminological theory and public policy arising from the results are examined.

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Updated 05/20/2006