Desistance From Serious and Violent Offending

Evelyn Wei, University of Pittsburgh
Rolf Loeber, University of Pittsburgh
David P. Farrington, University of Cambridge

While there continue to be many advances in understanding the development of serious and violent offending, much less is known about the longitudinal pattern and course leading to desistance. Desistancer is explored using longitudinal data from the oldest sample of the Pittsburgh Youth Study which extend to age 25. Desistance is defined as having committed serious or violent offending and subsequently reporting no serious or violent offending for at least three consequent years, based on self-report and official records. The present study addresses the following questions: (1) what is the prevalence of desistance by age 25? (2) does the age of onset of serious or violent offending differ between those who desist and those who do not? (3) is it possible to predict who will desist based on earlier offending patterns?

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Updated 05/20/2006