STABILITY AND CHANGE IN ANTISOCIAL BEHAVIOR: THE TRANSITION FROM ADOLESCENCE TO EARLY ADULTHOOD*

Authors


  • *

    This research was supported by Public Health Service Grants MH 29095 and MH 46410, National Institute of Mental Health, and by a Research Challenge Grant funded by the Ohio Board of Regents. We would like to thank Robert Bursik, whose editorial advice and suggestions on early drafts of this manuscript have made it a better product.

  • Stephen A. Cernkovich is Professor of Sociology at Bowling Green State University. His research interests include juvenile delinquency, the long-term consequences of early involvement in antisocial behavior, and race and gender variations in deviant behavior. Current projects include an evaluation of a general strain theory explanation of gender differences in antisocial and deviant behavior. Direct correspondence to Stephen A. Cernkovich, Department of Sociology, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH 43403, or send e-mail to scernko@bgnet.bgsu.net.

  • Peggy C. Giordano is Professor of Sociology at Bowling Green State University. Her research focuses on how social networks influence involvement in delinquent and criminal behavior. Current projects include a study of the role of heterosexual relationships in the movement into and out of delinquent behavior and a study of factors associated with variations in adult women's desistance from criminal activity.

Abstract

This longitudinal research, based on two samples of respondents who were differentially involved in delinquency as teenagers, identifies latent trait and life-course correlates of the persistence of antisocial behavior into young adulthood. The data show that prior delinquency is a stable predictor among respondents in both our household and institutional samples. However, although social bonding has a substantial impact on continued criminality among the household respondents, its influence is minimal among those who were previously institutionalized. The data suggest that the bonding levels and antisocial behavior of serious offenders are more resistant to change than are those of more typical and less serious offenders.

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