Understanding Juvenile Offending Trajectories
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A considerable amount of international research has adopted a criminal careers framework to improve our understanding of offending patterns across the life course. Recent innovations in statistical modelling techniques such as Semi-Parametric Group-based Method (SPGM) have provided researchers with tools to model offending trajectories. While this framework and these techniques may improve our understanding of life course offending patterns, few Australian studies have adopted such an approach. SPGM was employed in the current study to model the offending patterns of the 1983-84 Queensland offender cohort (n = 4,470) to address three research questions: (1) How many distinct offending trajectories could be identified and what was the nature of these trajectories? (2) How were sex, Indigenous status, socioeconomic disadvantage, and remoteness related to offending trajectory membership? and (3) Are juvenile offending trajectories predictors of adult offending? Findings indicated that there were three distinct groups of juvenile offenders: Early Peaking-Moderate Offenders, Late Onset-Moderate Offenders, and Chronic Offenders. Males and Indigenous offenders were overrepresented in the chronic offending trajectory. Support for the utility of the model was found, as Chronic Offenders were more likely to have offended as adults. The theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed and the need for further trajectory research within an Australian context is emphasised.
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology
© 2008 SAGE Publications. This is the author-manuscript version of the paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.
Causes and Prevention of Crime