Stability and Change in Antisocial Behavior

Summarize the attached journal article using these questions.

Q1. What is a summary of the research study? Does delinquency behavior spills over into young adulthood?

Q2. What theoretical approach did the author utilize? Latent trait and life course models (Page 371)?

Q3. What is the hypotheses being tested? (Page 375). Is there a positive relationship between adolescent involvement in delinquency and adult involvement in criminal behavior. There is a negative relationship between adolescent involvement in delinquency and social bonding in both adolescence and adulthood. The relationship between adolescent delinquency and adult criminality will be attenuated when adult social bonds are statistically controlled.

Q4. What are the results of study?

Q5. What are some strengths and weaknesses of the study?
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This is a somewhat complicated article, especially the anlaysis section. Let’s take a closer look.


Q1. What is a summary of the research study? Does delinquency behavior spills over into young adulthood?

Usually, a summary of the research study gives an overview of the study, much like an article abstract, including the purpose and goals of the study, the methods and procedures, the analysis and the findings. However, considering the questions below, you would not need to explain much in detail.

This study “STABILITY AND CHANGE IN ANTISOCIAL BEHAVIOR: THE TRANSITION FROM ADOLESCENCE TO EARLY ADULTHOOD” is a longitudinal research that used two samples of respondents who were differentially involved in delinquency as teenagers. It identifies latent trait (stability) and life-course (change) correlates of the persistence of antisocial behavior into young adulthood.

There are two samples: a sample of individuals living in private households and a sample of previously institutionalized offenders.

Data collection methods: Respondents in both of these samples were interviewed initially in 1982 when they were adolescents and subsequently in 1992 (the household sample) and in 1995 (the institutional respondents) as young adults. The household sample of youth (N=942, 12-19 years of age) were living in private households in the Toledo, Ohio metropolitan area. The initial institutional data were derived from 254 personal interviews conducted in 1982, using the same interview schedule as for the household subjects. The respondents were drawn from the populations of three male juvenile institutions in the state of Ohio and the entire population of the only female juvenile institution in the state. Fifty percent of the sample was female. Sixty-five percent of the institutionalized respondents were white; the remaining nonwhites were predominantly black (32% of the institutional sample).

The purpose or goal of this study was “to evaluate the relative explanatory power of the latent trait and life-course models, identify which factors best account for behavioral stability and change during the transition from adolescence to early adulthood, and determine whether a mixed model might better capture the processes occurring than either model singly”.

They tested three hypothesis. They found that partial support for the three proposed hypotheses which was best explained differentially by the two theories. Specifically, it showed that prior delinquency is a stable predictor among respondents in both the household and institutional samples. However, although social bonding has a substantial impact on continued criminality among the household respondents, its influence is minimal among those who were previously institutionalized. The data suggest that the bonding levels and antisocial behavior of serious offenders are more resistant to change than are those of more typical and less serious offenders.

Q2. What theoretical approach did the author utilize? Latent trait and life course models (Page 371)?

AN: This is correct.

They used both models as alternative explanations for the relationship between prior delinquency and later adult criminality to evaluate which of the theories would best explain their findings. Both recognize that individuals commit fewer crimes as they age. They report: “Two currently popular theoretical perspectives-the latent trait and life-course models-have offered accounts of the general aging-out of antisocial behavior that occurs among most adolescents as they enter young adulthood. Both also offer explanations for why some of these youths continue or even escalate their antisocial involvement into adulthood.” Specifically, both the latent trait …