Life success of males on nonoffender, adolescence-limited, persistent, and adult-onset antisocial pathways: follow-up from age 8 to 42



A random sample of 196 males, drawn from the Jyväskylä Longitudinal Study of Personality and Social Development, was divided into four groups of offenders using information from government registers of convictions between ages 21 and 47, from local police registers searched at age 21, from a Self-Report Delinquency Scale administered at age 36, from a Life History Calendar for ages 15–42, and from personal interviews at ages 27, 36, and 42. The groups were: persistent offenders (offences before and after age 21; 29% of the men); adolescence-limited offenders (offences before age 21; 27%); adult-onset offenders (offences after age 21; 16%); and nonoffenders (28%). The profile of the persistent offenders included many characteristics of antisocial personality and problems of social and psychological functioning at all ages. In childhood and adolescence, the adolescence-limited offenders tended to display higher self-control than the other offenders indicated by less negative emotionality and higher constraint. In early middle age, they were well established in terms of work and marriage, but they differed from the nonoffenders in higher neuroticism, aggressiveness, and psychosomatic symptoms as did the other offender groups. The adult-onset offenders displayed an emotionally unstable personality, and in adulthood, they tended to be heavy users of alcohol. Parental SES did not differentiate the groups, but the parents of the persistent offenders tended to use alcohol heavily, and the social capital of the family tended to be low compared with the other groups. Aggr. Behav. 35:117–135, 2009. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.