The Correlates of Self-Reported Delinquency: An Analysis of the National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth

5. Conclusion

The results of the regression analyses provide clear direction for the prevention and treatment of delinquent behavior . Addressing the five core concepts identified in this study within criminal justice interventions may prove to be effective in reducing recidivism. Future research testing such a hypothesis would be warranted. Four of these five core concepts are also consistent with the comprehensive research of Andrews and Bonta (1998) who have developed an empirically-based set of treatment targets that has been linked with rehabilitation. These include: a) reducing anti-social peer involvement; b) promoting familial affection, communication and monitoring; c) preventing abuse/neglect; and, d) replacing aggression with pro-social alternatives. In addition to these, we would suggest targeting negative school attachment in order to improve behavior , attendance, performance, and attitudes towards educational achievement.

5.1 Additional future research

This analysis was based on cross-sectional data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth. It would be extremely valuable to use the longitudinal aspect of the data to develop a clearer sense of the temporal relationships between variables. As discussed, many factors demonstrate reciprocal relationships with delinquency. For example, it would be useful to determine if negative school behavior is exacerbated by delinquency and thus, further increases the likelihood of delinquency. Moreover, such an analysis would provide a glimpse into both the initiation process into criminal behavior and the abatement process out of criminal behavior . While it is understood that many youth simply age out of offending behavior (Moffitt, 1993), there may be identifiable differences between desisters and chronic offenders.

References

Appendix A: Dependent Variable Calculation (SRDS)

NLSCY Question ACCS Offence Classification Severity Weight
In the past 12 months, about how many times have you tried to force someone into having sex with you? Sexual Assault I 16
In the past 12 months, about how many times have you threatened someone in order to get their money or things? Robbery with Assault 16
In the past 12 months, about how many times have you sold any drugs? Trafficking 13
In the past 12 months, about how many times have you set fire on purpose to a building, a car, or something else not belonging to you? Arson 13
In the past 12 months, about how many times have you attempted to touch the private parts of another person's body (while knowing that they would probably object to this)? Other Sexual Offences 11
In the past 12 months, about how many times have you broken into, or snuck into, a house or building with the idea of stealing something? Break and Enter 9
In the past 12 months, about how many times have you fought with someone to the point where they needed care for their injuries (for example, because they were bleeding, or had broken bones)? Major Assault 5
In the past 12 months, about how many times have you been in a fight where you hit someone with something other than your hands (for example, a stick, club, knife, or rock)? Major Assault 5
In the past 12 months, about how many times have you carried a gun other than for hunting or target shooting? Weapons Offences - All others 5
In the past 12 months, about how many times have you used or bought or tried to sell something you knew was stolen? Possession of Stolen Property 3
In the past 12 months, about how many times have you stolen something from a store or school? Theft Under $5,000 2
In the past 12 months, about how many times have you taken a car, motorbike, or motorboat without permission? Motor Vehicle Theft 2
In the past 12 months, about how many times have you damaged or destroyed anything that didn't belong to you (for example, damaged a bicycle, car, school furniture, broken windows or written graffiti)? Mischief (Vandalism) Under $5,000 2
In the past 12 months, about how many times have you taken money from your parents without their permission? Theft Under $5,000 2

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