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Crime in the Making: Pathways and Turning Points Through Life

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... For many criminological inquiries, these are not inconsequential benefits but rather necessary features due to the nature of the theory being tested. For example, life-course theories of crime are inherently developmental: As individuals progress from adolescence into adulthood, they become more strongly attached to agents of informal social control-such as significant others and employment-that make offending less likely because it may jeopardize their relationship with these agents (Maruna, 2001;Sampson & Laub, 1993, 2016. In order to test this theory and perspective, scholars require data on individuals that extend for several years to assess how individuals' attachments to these agents change over time and to be sure that these attachments occur before hypothesized reductions in crime. 1 Even though panel datasets have several features that make them desirable or necessary in testing crime-related theories, they also contain unique missing data patterns that may pose problems. ...
... Those contributing fewer waves were older at baseline and entered the peak of the age-crime curve earlier than those observed for more waves. The relationship between age and crime in Western societies has a long scholarly history where crime increases in one's teenage and late teenage years before steadily declining thereafter into adulthood (Hirschi & Gottfredson, 1983;Sampson & Laub, 1993). It is important to include in one's panel Table 4 Fixed effects models predicting perceived social costs (clustered SE) SE = standard error *p < .05; ...
... Those contributing fewer waves of data also have fewer people in their home, were less likely to have their biological mother at home, were less likely to have living biological parents, and were less likely to attend school prior to their detention. These variables are indicative of these individuals having reduced levels of informal social control as compared to those who contributed more waves of data (Costello & Laub, 2020;Hirschi, 1969;Sampson & Laub, 1993;Toby, 1957). These are also variables that tap into sources of social support that extend beyond psychological variables that Western (2018) identified as a hindrance to re-interviewing hard-to-reach respondents. ...
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Research on missing data in panel datasets has focused on attrition where respondents drop out and do not return. An equally important, but understudied, form of missing data include missed interviews where respondents contribute different number of total interviews to a panel dataset. Because individuals with crime-related characteristics miss more interviews, conditioning one’s sample on different number of waves changes the composition of the sample, and likely the subsequent conclusions. Scholars must weigh the balancing act of wanting a sample with more waves of data to tease out their panel process against the concern that they will lose individuals sensitive to the process under study by requiring too many waves of data. Using the Pathways to Desistance study, a panel dataset of youth who have committed serious offenses, we compared sample characteristics across multiple conditioned samples to unpack how the characteristics of one’s sample changes as more waves are required to be entered into the sample. We further demonstrate the implications of this in an applied setting by examining the relationship between residential mobility and perceptions of informal social costs. Our results indicate that the characteristics of one’s panel sample are sensitive to the number of waves one conditions their sample upon. This is especially prevalent for offending where those who contribute fewer waves of data consistently report higher levels of offending. In our empirical demonstration, substantive conclusions change across conditioned samples. Our study provides unique insight into an understudied phenomenon while also providing practical advice to panel dataset scholars.
... Specifically, labeling theory assumes that crime or delinquency is derived from social appraisals as deviant from others, rather than from one's inherent characteristics (Paternoster & Iovanni, 1989). Deviant labels, once created and attached to an individual, could alter one's self-concept, reduce attachment to conventional activities and opportunities, and increase allegiance to criminal subcultures, thereby causing continued delinquency (Bernburg & Krohn, 2003;Bernburg et al., 2006;Matsueda, 1992;Sampson & Laub, 1993Walters, 2016). ...
... This statistical significance, however, disappeared when other controls were included as shown in model 1-2. This is partially because some of those controls (i.e., attachment to others and delinquent peer association) operate as mediating variables between perceived informal labeling and delinquency (Bernburg & Krohn, 2003;Bernburg et al., 2006;Matsueda, 1992;Sampson & Laub, 1993Walters, 2016). We thus added each moderator one by one to the basic model (i.e., model 1-1) to examine moderation processes. ...
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Labeling perspective offers unique insights into the role of social sanctions in increasing the chance of continued deviance. The scholarship on labeling has progressed from confirming the impact of labeling to examining the factors that could potentially mitigate the negative consequences of labeling. We analyze a nationally representative sample of Korean youths (14,564 observations on 2719 respondents) with a series of two-level random effects negative binomial regression models to examine within-individual effects of perceived informal labeling on delinquency and moderators. Results confirmed the impact of perceived informal labeling on youth delinquency among South Korean youths and showed moderating effects of sex and social control factors. Compared to males, female youths were more vulnerable to perceived informal labeling, while attachment to close friends and delinquent friends exacerbated the impact of informal labeling. Attachment to teachers was associated with a reduced effect of perceived informal labeling while attachment to parents increased the positive within-individual effect on delinquency. The results add to our understanding of moderating processes in perceived informal labeling and highlight the importance of addressing within-individual effects in labeling research.
... In response to the call mentioned above, our study includes a criminological perspective to investigate what factors are uniquely associated with the risk of becoming a terrorist suspect. Our central focus is the social control theory of Hirschi (1969) and the theoretical advancements made by life-course criminologists (Sampson and Laub, 1993). Control theory scholars presuppose that the impetus to offend is omnipresent but that people can be shielded from deviance when having bonds that connect them to conventional society (Hirschi, 1969). ...
... employment)-are weakened or absent. Building upon Hirschi's theory, Sampson and Laub (1993) emphasize in their age-graded theory of informal social control the importance of life-course events, or "turning points" that can redirect or alter behavioral trajectories in life. They postulate that, despite "early differences in childhood experiences and delinquency, adult social bonds to work and family are significantly related to changes in adult crime" (Laub et al., 2018: 2). ...
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This article contributes to the debate in terrorism research on how unique terrorist suspects (i.e. individuals suspected of crimes with terrorist intent) actually are and whether or not specific theories are necessary to explain their behavior. Our study compares terrorist suspects from the Netherlands with their siblings and nonterrorist suspects to find out whether and how terrorist suspects are unique. Inspired by criminological theories involving social bonds, regression analyses were conducted utilizing registry data on household compositions, socio-economic status (SES), and criminal histories. A key finding is that terrorist suspects seem to have more in common with other suspects than with their siblings; besides prior criminal involvement, no significant differences were found between terrorist suspects and other suspects. Terrorist suspects were significantly less often married, had a lower SES, and were more often previously suspected of crimes as compared to their siblings. Particularly, lacking employment is a differentiating factor for terrorist suspects and siblings. Our findings stress the necessity to investigate in-depth under what circumstances and how a disadvantaged background (e.g. lack of social bonds, criminal history) can lead to becoming a terrorist suspect.
... We also believe parents trying to prevent youth from joining an ongoing online attack is especially important because of the nature of cyberhate. Although we lack the data to investigate a life-course perspective (Sampson and Laub 1993), we can speculate about if the adolescents we analyzed who joined an ongoing cyberattack are going through a "phase" or if they are likely to desist with maturation. It is well documented that adolescents typically "grow out of" most crimes, even if when that happens varies by crime and other factors (see Le Blanc 2020;Loeber et al. 2012;Moffitt 2018;Sampson and Laub 1993). ...
... Although we lack the data to investigate a life-course perspective (Sampson and Laub 1993), we can speculate about if the adolescents we analyzed who joined an ongoing cyberattack are going through a "phase" or if they are likely to desist with maturation. It is well documented that adolescents typically "grow out of" most crimes, even if when that happens varies by crime and other factors (see Le Blanc 2020;Loeber et al. 2012;Moffitt 2018;Sampson and Laub 1993). Yet, does the same logic apply to cyberviolence? ...
... LaFree et al. (2018) argue that terrorism researchers should give more attention to criminological indicators, and in response to this call, our study includes a criminological perspective to investigate what factors can be associated with a violent or nonviolent outcome. Our main focus is the social control theory of Hirschi (1969) and its extension by life-course criminologists Sampson and Laub (1993). Control theory scholars theorize that the motivation to offend is omnipresent but that people can be shielded from deviance when developing bonds that connect them to conventional society (Hirschi, 1969). ...
... Deviation from conforming behavior is more likely to occur when bonds to conventional society-in the form of bonds to prosocial values (e.g., prosocial towards society's values and norms), prosocial people (e.g., parents), and prosocial institutions (e.g., school, employment)-are weakened (Hirschi, 1969). Additionally, Sampson and Laub (1993) emphasize the importance of later life-course milestones, or "turning points" that can alter or redirect behavioral trajectories in life. They bring forward that, regardless of "early differences in childhood experiences and delinquency, adult social bonds to work and family are significantly related to changes in adult crime" (Laub et al., 2018, p. 296). ...
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What are similarities and differences between violent and nonviolent terrorist suspects? Our study aims to answer this question by comparing violent terrorist suspects (VTS) ( n = 57) to nonviolent terrorist suspects (NVTS) ( n = 292) in the Netherlands. Guided by social control theories and using register data from the Dutch Public Prosecution Service, Statistics Netherlands, and the Research and Documentation Centre of the Ministry of Justice and Security, we investigated the 2 years leading up to the terrorist suspicion by examining demographic characteristics, household composition, socioeconomic factors, and criminal background. Findings demonstrate more similarities than differences between the groups. Nonetheless, VTS were significantly more often male and had more often a (violent) criminal background. For NVTS, we found possible preventive effects of living with parents and employment. Furthermore, the differences in socioeconomic status (SES) we found urge us to develop a better understanding of the socioeconomic environment VTS and NVTS are part of and whether and how their perception of this environment influences their behavior. Notwithstanding the limitations in our study (e.g., potential police bias in register data, small sample sizes), the analyses provide insight into what factors, and potential underlying mechanisms, need further investigation to understand violent and nonviolent outcomes.
... Although adult-onset offenders are deemed a nontrivial offender group, most extant criminogenic theories seem ill-equipped to explain a delayed onset and escalation of offending. From Gottfredson and Hirschi's (1990) self-control theory to Moffitt's (1993) offender taxonomy to Sampson and Laub's (1993) age-graded theory of informal social control, criminological theories explaining offending trajectories implicitly assume that people who demonstrate high levels of criminal propensity should start to engage and peak in offending during adolescence and young adulthood. In other words, each theory may disagree on the mechanism to explain variations of offending rate, duration, and specialization; however, there is an explicit consensus that for those who will embark on a criminal career, offending begins during adolescence. ...
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Late-blooming offending is a young but fast-growing area in offending trajectory research. Since the formulation of this theory by Thornberry and Krohn, few empirical tests using US offender samples have been conducted. Based on 30 years of criminal history data, this study uses group-based trajectory modeling to empirically test the existence of a late-blooming trajectory among a sample of US offenders. We also compare family structural disadvantages and temperament traits across distinct groups of offenders. The analyses yield empirical support for the theoretical propositions by Thornberry and Krohn. A late bloomer offender group was identified by the model results, which took up about 20% of the sample. Findings suggest that late bloomers have similar temperament difficulties as life-course-persistent offenders. However, their family environments are more nurturing, which may explain why their heavy engagement in offending does not emerge until adulthood. The findings from this study extend our understanding of the heterogeneous etiologies and trajectories of offending over the life course.
... La criminología del desarrollo vital se ha ocupado de este constructo siguiendo diversas perspectivas. Algunas de las más destacadas son (1) la correspondiente al paradigma biopsicosocial, con el estudio de las diferencias individuales, el desarrollo psicológico y social (Moffitt, Ross y Raine, 2010), y (2) la que podemos definir como perspectiva del curso vital, según el modelo descrito por Sampson y Laub (1993;. ...
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Análisis de la libertad condicional tras la reforma operada en su naturaleza jurídica por la Ley Orgánica 1/2015
... It has been suggested that radicalized individuals focus on specific goals and sometimes "family and relationships are forgotten" (Kruglanski et al., 2014, p. 71). According to Sampson and Laub (1995), families are important resources to draw on during life transitions and turning points. Thus, if a family member is focused on radical goals, ignoring other aspects of life including the family, these important resources can be lost. ...
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This systematic review focuses on family-related risk and protective factors for radicalization, the impact of radicalization on families, and family-based interventions against radicalization. The review finds that parental ethnic socialization, having extremist family members and family conflict increase the risk of radicalization, whereas high family socio-economic status, bigger family size, and high family commitment are protective factors.
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Prior literature highlights that children of incarcerated parents are more likely to endure negative life outcomes. Yet, this discussion is mainly centered on the immediate impacts of parental incarceration during childhood and adolescent years, with less focus on the longer-term consequences as these children emerge into adulthood. This study examined how young adults interpreted their experience of parental incarceration. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 19 young adults to understand their interpretations of parental incarceration as a turning point in specific transitions to adulthood: education and employment, intimate relationships, living independently, and parenthood. Findings demonstrate that, for some respondents, this experience created negative turning points, for example, by limiting their academic opportunities due to financial strain or a lack of support, hindering their trust in romantic partners, keeping them from living independently due to feelings of responsibility for the remaining parent, or by creating a fear of repeating the cycle with their own children. For other respondents, this experience created positive impacts on their lives because it provided a motivational push towards acquiring an education, accelerated them into becoming independent, or encouraged their desire to become a good parent and provide stability for their own children. There were also respondents who believed that the experience had no effects on certain life domains. These findings add to the growing body of research by providing support that parental incarceration can influence avenues for success and alter navigations into emerging adulthood.
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Over the past 55 years, two longitudinal studies have been monitoring the drinking behaviors and their consequences of several hundred men from adolescence and early adulthood to old age. The studies identified co-occurring sociopathy, cultural factors (e.g., ethnicity), and genetic factors (i.e., a family history of alcoholism) as risk factors for alcoholism. In most alcoholics, the disease had a progressive course, resulting in increasing alcohol abuse or stable abstinence. However, some alcoholics exhibited a nonprogressive disease course and either maintained a stable level of alcohol abuse or returned to asymptomatic drinking. Long-term return to controlled drinking, however, was a rare and unstable outcome. Formal treatment, with the exception of attending Alcoholics Anonymous, did not appear to affect the men's long-term outcomes, whereas several non-treatment-related factors were important for achieving stable recovery.
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