Background: Late onset offending, at the age of 21 or thereafter, is an underexplored dimension of the criminal career. Aims: Our aims were to explore which factors are precursors of late onset offending, and the extent to which adult criminality can be predicted in childhood and adolescence. Method: This is the first study that defines late onset offending based on a combination of official records and self-reports. Longitudinal data from the Cambridge Study in Delinquent Development (CSDD) were used. 403 South London men, followed from ages 8-10 to ages 48-50, were divided into late-starters (LS, n = 51), early-starters (ES, n = 140) and non-offenders (NO, n = 212). Results: LS men were more likely than NO men to have been neurotic, truants, or in poor housing at ages 8-10. At ages 12-14 they tended to be neurotic, and at ages 16-18 they had high unemployment and spent time hanging about on the streets. Compared with ES, LS were nervous at ages 8-10, and at age 18 they were more likely to be sexual virgins. Overall, LS men were more similar to NO men before age 21, but more similar to ES men by age 32. Conclusions: Our hypotheses that late onset offenders would be particularly characterised by neuroticism or nervousness, but that this would buffer rather than fully protect over the life course, were sustained. Intervention to increase the resilience of children and adolescents who are rated as high on neurotic characteristics may lessen the burden that these factors impose in adult life and reduce the risk of a deteriorating quality of life and late onset criminal careers.

A longitudinal analysis of early risk factors for adult onset offending: What predicts a delayed criminal career?

ZARA, Georgia;
2010

Abstract

Background: Late onset offending, at the age of 21 or thereafter, is an underexplored dimension of the criminal career. Aims: Our aims were to explore which factors are precursors of late onset offending, and the extent to which adult criminality can be predicted in childhood and adolescence. Method: This is the first study that defines late onset offending based on a combination of official records and self-reports. Longitudinal data from the Cambridge Study in Delinquent Development (CSDD) were used. 403 South London men, followed from ages 8-10 to ages 48-50, were divided into late-starters (LS, n = 51), early-starters (ES, n = 140) and non-offenders (NO, n = 212). Results: LS men were more likely than NO men to have been neurotic, truants, or in poor housing at ages 8-10. At ages 12-14 they tended to be neurotic, and at ages 16-18 they had high unemployment and spent time hanging about on the streets. Compared with ES, LS were nervous at ages 8-10, and at age 18 they were more likely to be sexual virgins. Overall, LS men were more similar to NO men before age 21, but more similar to ES men by age 32. Conclusions: Our hypotheses that late onset offenders would be particularly characterised by neuroticism or nervousness, but that this would buffer rather than fully protect over the life course, were sustained. Intervention to increase the resilience of children and adolescents who are rated as high on neurotic characteristics may lessen the burden that these factors impose in adult life and reduce the risk of a deteriorating quality of life and late onset criminal careers.
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257
273
Late onset offending; delayed criminal career; protective factors
Zara G; Farrington D P
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2318/87219
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