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Prior adjustment of violent juvenile offenders

  • Research Note
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Law and Human Behavior


This study compares 202 juvenile offenders on a series of preoffense adjustment variables grouped into five categories: Family Dysfunction, School Adjustment, Prior Violence, Criminal Activity, and Substance Abuse. Emphasis is placed on the importance of distinguishing subgroups of violent youth based on the type of assault (interpersonal conflict or crime-related) and the youth's relationship to the victim (parent or other victim). Findings support the need to identify multiple developmental pathways and distinctive risk factors for different forms of juvenile violence.

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This study was supported by a grant from the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation. I thank the Virginia Department of Corrections for their cooperation in this project. I also thank Carol Greco, Suzanne Michels, Peggy Mitchell, Canby Robinson, and Lori Wilson for their work. An earlier version of this study was presented at the 1989 Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association.

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Cornell, D.G. Prior adjustment of violent juvenile offenders. Law Hum Behav 14, 569–577 (1990).

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