Journal of Quantitative Criminology

, Volume 15, Issue 3, pp 277–306 | Cite as

Assessing Correlates of Onset, Escalation, Deescalation, and Desistance of Delinquent Behavior

  • Charles D. Ayres
  • James Herbert Williams
  • J. David Hawkins
  • Peggy L. Peterson
  • Richard F. Catalano
  • Robert D. Abbott


This article evaluates the utility of social development model constructs toassess the correlates of onset, escalation, deescalation, and desistance ofdelinquent behavior, from age 12 to age 15, using a dynamic classificationapproach. Dynamic classification places individuals into categories basedon changes in levels of delinquent behavior over time. These analyses assessthe extent to which specific constructs are associated with changes in thedelinquency status of individuals. Constructs of the social developmentmodel (SDM), including opportunities for conventional involvement, skillsfor conventional involvement, rewards for conventional involvement,proactive family management, bonding to conventional society, opportunitiesfor antisocial involvement, antisocial interactions, perceived rewards forantisocial involvement, and norms against drug use, were significantlyassociated with change in delinquent behavior over time. Many of theconstructs were particularly salient in distinguishing between youths whoremained involved in delinquency and youths who deescalated or desisted fromdelinquent behavior during this period. Implications for preventiveinterventions and criminological theory are discussed.

correlates delinquency social development gender etiology 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Charles D. Ayres
    • 1
  • James Herbert Williams
    • 2
  • J. David Hawkins
    • 3
  • Peggy L. Peterson
    • 4
  • Richard F. Catalano
    • 3
  • Robert D. Abbott
    • 5
  1. 1.School of Social WorkUniversity of WashingtonSeattle
  2. 2.George Warren Brown School of Social WorkWashington UniversitySt. Louis
  3. 3.Social Development Research Group, School of Social WorkUniversity of WashingtonSeattle
  4. 4.Alcohol and Drug Abuse InstituteUniversity of WashingtonSeattle
  5. 5.Department of Educational PsychologyUniversity of WashingtonSeattle

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