Author ORCID Identifier
Clinkinbeard - https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1839-2877
Journal of Criminal Justice
Although there is robust support for low self-control as a predictor of delinquent behavior, the question of whether delinquent behavior impacts self-control has been largely ignored. We ask, after accounting for baseline group differences in impulsivity and self-control, can delinquency be associated with later group differences in self-control?
Utilizing data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health we employed propensity score matching to create comparable groups (i.e., on self-control and other delinquency correlates) of youth who did and did not participate in delinquent behavior in adolescence and compared them on self-control and impulsivity in later waves.
Despite baseline similarity, the groups identified as delinquent at Wave II differed significantly from non-delinquent groups on self-control and impulsivity at Waves III and IV. Both groups experienced improvement in self-control and impulsivity over time though improvement was more marked for the non-delinquent youth.
We have established preliminary evidence that delinquent behavior may be associated with later levels of self-control. Participation in delinquency may remove youth from normal developmental patterns in which self-control strengthens over time. Future research should attempt to replicate our findings and determine the specific mechanisms through which delinquent behavior may impact later self-control.
Clinkinbeard, S.S., Barnum, T.C., & Rhodes, T.N. (2018). The other side of the coin: Exploring the effects of adolescent delinquency on young adult self-control. Journal of Criminal Justice, 56, 86-97. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcrimjus.2017.08.001
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