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From Boy to Man, From Delinquency to Crime

NCJ Number
M E Wolfgang; T P Thornberry; R M Figlio
Date Published
221 pages
This followup to the authors' study, 'Delinquency in a Birth Cohort' (1972), which traced the development from birth to 18 years old of male delinquents in the 1945 Philadelphia birth cohort, determines similarities and differences in criminal behavior when juveniles become adults.
This study follows a sample from the original cohort up to age 30 and extends the analytic strategies of the previous work. Findings show little offense specialization even during adult years and an increase in offense seriousness with age. The actual number of crimes committed, however, decreased as the cohort aged. In other aspects, such as intervals between arrests and differences between white and nonwhite arrest patterns, the study found that adult data sometimes replicated juvenile results and sometimes offer new insights into offending patterns. More than 60 percent of the subjects were interviewed at age 25 to add their perspectives to the picture developed from official records. Their attitudes, values, experiences as crime victims, self-reported involvement in crime, and other facets of their lives are examined to complete descriptions of their criminal careers. Chapter tables and figures, 295 references, and subject index. (Publisher summary modified)