Pathways and prevention: Concepts and controversies
For at least a quarter of a century the study of the developmental origins of crime and delinquency has been, in the words of Nagin and Tremblay (2005, p. 873), 'both an important and contentious topic in criminology'. Indeed, as these researchers note, the contemporary international wave of research within this genre is 'testimony to the central position of what has come to be called developmental criminology' (p. 874). We estimate that in the journal Criminology, since 1990, at least one third of the articles have been devoted to some aspect of developmental criminology, and many other journals, broader perhaps in their theoretical and methodological orientations than Criminology, are now devoting considerable space to issues like the effects of child abuse and family violence on children and young people's personal development, or the influence of poverty and social exclusion on pathways towards adulthood and perhaps toward crime. Our aim with this special issue of the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology is to add to this growing body of knowledge, particularly from an Australian and United Kingdom (UK) perspective, and to highlight some important theoretical and methodological debates. Woven through the eight articles in this issue are three core themes: improving the conceptual foundations of pathways research; applying the insights of pathways thinking to the design and implementation of preventive interventions; and deepening and widening our thinking about the methods that are used in pathways and prevention research.
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology