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Long-Term Follow-Up of Criminal Activity with Adjudicated Youth in Ontario: Identifying Offence Trajectories and Predictors/Correlates of Trajectory Group Membership

NCJ Number
Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice Volume: 54 Issue: 4 Dated: October 2012 Pages: 377-413
David M. Day; Jason D. Nielsen; Ashley K. Ward; Ye Sun; Jeffrey S. Rosenthal; Thierry Duchesne; Irene Bevc; Lianne Rossman
Date Published
October 2012
37 pages
This study used group-based trajectory analysis to explore the criminal trajectories of a sample of adjudicated youth in Ontario, Canada.
This article examines the criminal trajectories together with the childhood predictors and adolescent correlates of trajectory-group membership in a sample of 386 adjudicated youth in Ontario. Study participants had served a sentence at one of two open custody facilities in Toronto between 1986 and 1997. Criminal offending, based on official records, was tracked for 16.4 years, on average (SD=4.1, range=9.8-28.7 years), from late childhood/early adolescence into the early 30s, on average. Childhood and adolescent factors reflecting individual, family, peer, and school domains were extracted from client files. A seven-group model best fit the sample. Results of the multinomial regression analyses indicated that antisocial behavior and poor academic achievement in childhood and poor family relations, involvement in alternative care, and poor academic achievement in adolescence differentiated the low-rate desister trajectory from the high- and moderate-rate offence trajectories. Implications for identifying children and youth at risk for high-rate persistent offending so as to target them in prevention and early intervention programs are discussed. (Published Abstract)