Law and Human Behavior

, Volume 33, Issue 6, pp 455–469 | Cite as

Maturity in Adolescent and Young Adult Offenders: The Role of Cognitive Control

  • Anne-Marie R. IselinEmail author
  • Jamie DeCoster
  • Randall T. Salekin
Original Article


This study examined the role of cognitive control in explaining the psychosocial maturity of adolescent (n = 43) and young adult male (n = 40) offenders. We separated psychosocial maturity into prosocial and criminal components, which were statistically unrelated and were explained by different variables. Individuals with higher levels of prosocial maturity were older, had better proactive cognitive control, and had better short-term memory than those with lower levels of prosocial maturity. Individuals with higher levels of criminal maturity were older and had better reactive cognitive control than those with lower levels of criminal maturity. We discuss the implications of these findings with regard to juvenile justice policy and practice.


Maturity Adolescent antisocial behaviors Reactive and proactive cognitive control 



This research was funded by grants to the first author from the National Institute of Mental Health (F31MH075239) and the American Psychology-Law Society. We would like to thank the personnel and participants from Draper Correctional Center and Tuscaloosa Regional Detention Center. We also thank Chris Harper for his assistance with data collection and entry.


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Copyright information

© American Psychology-Law Society/Division 41 of the American Psychological Association 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anne-Marie R. Iselin
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jamie DeCoster
    • 2
  • Randall T. Salekin
    • 2
  1. 1.Western Psychiatric Institute and ClinicUniversity of Pittsburgh Medical CenterPittsburghUSA
  2. 2.The University of AlabamaTuscaloosaUSA

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