History of Juvenile Arrests and Vocational Career Outcomes for At-Risk Young Men

University of Houston, Department of Educational Psychology, 491 Farish Hall, Houston, TX 77204-5029, , , .
Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency (Impact Factor: 2.23). 02/2010; 47(1):91-117. DOI: 10.1177/0022427809348906
Source: PubMed


This study used longitudinal data from the Oregon Youth Study (OYS) to examine prospective effects of juvenile arrests, and of early versus late onset of juvenile offending, on two labor market outcomes by age 29/30 years. It was expected that those with more juvenile arrests and those with an early onset of offending would show poorer outcomes on both measures, controlling for propensity factors. Data were available for 203 men from the OYS, including officially recorded arrests and self-reported information on the men's work history across 9 years. Analyses revealed unexpected specificity in prospective effects: Juvenile arrests and mental health problems predicted the number of months unemployed; in contrast, being fired from work was predicted by poor child inhibitory control and adolescent substance use. Onset age of offending did not significantly predict either outcome. Implications of the findings for applied purposes and for developmental taxonomies of crime are discussed.

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    • "Research also highlights the generality of the consequences of criminal behavior. To be sure, criminal offending has been linked to a wide array of other negative life outcomes (see, e.g., Brame et al., 2012), including long stretches of unemployment and job instability (Bushway, 1998; Nagin & Waldfogel, 1995; Western, Kling, & Weiman, 2001), educational deficits (Sweeten, 2006; Weisner, Kim, & Capaldi, 2010), welfare dependence (Makarios et al., 2015), violent victimization (Averdijk & Bernasco, 2015; Berg et al., 2012; Turanovic, Reisig, & Pratt, 2015), poor health (Piquero et al., 2007; Reingle et al., 2014), and even early death (Laub & Valliant, 2000; Piquero et al., 2014). Put simply, engaging in criminal behavior is generally not a recipe for leading a happy and healthy life. "
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    • "For example, poor inhibitory control in childhood is correlated with lower grades, poorer social interactions, and lower SAT scores in later adolescence (Shoda et al. 1990). Low levels of inhibitory control in youth are also correlated with a multitude of adverse conditions beyond adolescence, including risky behaviors such as drunk driving, unprotected sex, crime, unemployment, and early mortality (Callender et al. 2010; Moffitt et al. 2011; Wiesner et al. 2010). The fact that childhood inhibitory control is predictive of such a wide variety of outcomes suggests that a single mechanism may influence decision-making in a wide variety of domains. "
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    ABSTRACT: This study used longitudinal data from 202 at-risk young men to examine effects of arrests, prior risk factors, and recent life circumstances on job loss across a 7-year period in early adulthood. Repeated failure-time continuous event-history analysis indicated that occurrence of job loss was primarily related to prior mental health problems, recent arrests, recent drug use, and recent being married/cohabitation. It is argued that long-term effects of criminal justice contact on employment outcomes should be understood in the context of (shared) prior risk factors and recent life circumstances.
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