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Changing Patterns of Youth (From New Response to Youth Crime, P 17-53, 2010, David J. Smith, ed. - See NCJ-232918)

NCJ Number
David J. Smith
Date Published
37 pages
This chapter examines the changing patterns in the lives of young people as a necessity to policy in responding to youth crime and antisocial behavior.
In the period since the Second World War, the developmental path leading from childhood to adulthood has become much longer because puberty and sexual activity come earlier, whereas education and training continue for longer; joining the labor force comes later, leaving the parental home is often postponed, cohabitation and marriage come at a later age, and even though there is still a substantial minority of teenage mothers, most women start to bear children at a later age. Changes in societal structures that frame these developmental processes have been both profound and wide-ranging. This chapter discusses these changing patterns of youth, which provides a framework for understanding crime trends. These changes in youth transitions and in the societal structures that frame them will probably be far more important in explaining youth crime than the workings of the youth justice system. Tables, figures, notes, and references