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Multi-City Assessment of Juvenile Delinquency in the U.S.: A Continuation and Expansion of the International Self-Report Delinquency Study (ISRD)

NCJ Number
Date Published
April 2009
103 pages
This multi-city assessment of juvenile delinquency in the United States is part of the International Self-Report Delinquency (ISRD) study, which is now in its second sweep in collecting comprehensive data on juvenile delinquency in 30 nations.
Data collection for the U.S. sample includes 2,571 seventh to ninth grade students from 11 public and 4 private schools in three geographically and socioeconomically diverse regions (Northeast, Southwest, and Midwest). Regarding risk factors for juvenile delinquency, truancy was a major concern (32.8 percent last month). The rates of alcohol use (41.5 percent life-time and 14 percent last month) and marijuana/hashish use (16 percent life-time and 7.9 percent last month) based on the sample are comparable to those from other major U.S. national studies. Theft (31.2 percent last year) and bullying (20 percent last year) are the two major victimization categories. The prevalence rates of victimization from robbery/extortion (4.5 percent) and assault (4.1 percent) are noticeably much lower. Shoplifting (20.7 percent), group fight (16.0 percent), vandalism (15.9 percent) and carrying a weapon (14.3 percent) were the highest life-time prevalence rates in all offense categories measured. Students of different immigrant statuses did not differ in self-reported victimization and offending. There was no statistically significant difference between genders regarding age of onset for all variety of offenses. Multivariate analyses supported theoretical relationships derived from social bonding, self-control, and social-learning theories. Findings in the current report are based on U.S. ISRD in the second wave only. The anticipated release of the merged cross-national ISRD data from the second wave will enable a comparison of U.S. findings with those of the other nations and also facilitate multi-level cross-national analyses. 6 figures, 8 tables, 118 references, and appended study materials

Date Published: April 1, 2009