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Co-occurrence of Alcohol Problems and Criminality in the Transition From Adolescence to Young Adulthood: A Prospective Longitudinal Study on Young Men

NCJ Number
Tommy Anderson; Joseph L. Mahoney; Peter Wennberg; Eckart Kuhlhorn; David Magnusson
Date Published
20 pages
This study assessed the longitudinal relationships between alcohol problems and criminality.
A prospective, longitudinal investigation of 570 males from a medium-sized Swedish community was conducted. Variable-based comparisons were contrasted with a pattern-approach to the co-occurrence of alcohol problems and criminality. Both self-reported and officially recorded information was compared. Results from the pattern-oriented analysis showed that the risk for long-term alcohol problems was substantially predicted by considering its co-occurrence with criminality in adolescence and young adulthood. Results differed somewhat depending on whether self-reports or official records were used. Notably, the false positives rate was markedly higher when self-reports were used. The findings are discussed in terms of a holistic perspective of development and its implications for prevention research. One issue for future research involves the antecedents to adolescent alcohol problems and criminality. A second issue involves the reasons why some youths who manifested alcohol and/or criminality as adolescents did not develop persistent problems in adulthood. Finally, as the scope and magnitude of the problems change with the information source consulted, a more detailed look at the biases operating in each source must be undertaken. 6 tables, 1 figure, and 84 references