TESTING MOFFITT'S ACCOUNT OF ADOLESCENCE-LIMITED DELINQUENCY*

Authors


  • *

    We would like to thank the reviewers as well as the Editor for helpful suggestions.

  • Alex R. Piquero received his Ph.D. from the University of Maryland in 1996 and is currently Associate Professor in the College of Criminal Justice at Northeastern University. Member of the National Consortium on Violence Research, and Network Associate with the MacArthur Foundation's Research Network on Adolescent Development and Juvenile Justice. His research interests include crime over the life course, criminological theory, and quantitative research methods. Recent publications appear in the journals Criminology, Sociological Methods and Research, Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, and the Journal of Adolescent Research. His is also co-author (with Paul Mazerolle) of Life-Course Criminology (Wadsworth Publishing Company, 2000). Address all correspondence to: Alex Piquero, Northeastern University, College of Criminal Justice, 360 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115. Phone: (617) 373–3327; Email: a.piquero@neu.edu

  • Timothy Brezina received his Ph.D. from Emory University in 1996 and is currently Assistant Professor of Sociology at Tulane University. His research interests include deviance and medicalization, crime and rational choice, and juvenile delinquency. Recent publications appear in the journals Criminology, Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, Justice Quarterly, and Youth & Society.

Abstract

Much of the research testing Moffitt's taxonomy of antisocial behavior has concentrated on life-course-persistent as opposed to adolescence-limited offending. For Moffitt, adolescence-limited delinquency occurs near puberty as a function of factors endemic to the peer social context of adolescence, including the realization that adolescents are physically mature enough to engage in adult-like behaviors, but are forbidden to engage in such acts because of their biological age. Using data from the Youth-In-Transition survey, we find that adolescence-limited delinquency is characterized by involvement in rebellious but not aggressive delinquency. Further, rebellious delinquency is accounted for by the interaction between early maturity and the autonomy aspects of peer activities.

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