Journal of Quantitative Criminology

, Volume 18, Issue 2, pp 159–187 | Cite as

Growing Up Poor: Examining the Link Between Persistent Childhood Poverty and Delinquency

  • G. Roger Jarjoura
  • Ruth A. Triplett
  • Gregory P. Brinker


Findings from aggregate-level and ethnographic research suggest that poverty and delinquency are related. The inability of individual-level quantitative research to demonstrate consistent evidence of this relationship, however, has been used to call into question whether poverty is indeed related to an increased propensity for delinquent involvement. This may be due to the difficulty individual-level analyses have in identifying the group most important in uncovering the relationship of poverty to delinquency—those individuals that experience persistent childhood poverty. This paper provides an assessment of the effects of both the level of exposure to poverty and its timing on delinquent involvement using fourteen years of longitudinal data for a national sample of younger adolescents. Findings indicate that exposure to poverty and the timing of such exposure are indeed related to an increased likelihood of involvement in delinquency.

delinquency poverty persistent poor tobit longitudinal data 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. Roger Jarjoura
    • 1
  • Ruth A. Triplett
    • 2
  • Gregory P. Brinker
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Public and Environmental AffairsIndiana University-Purdue University IndianapolisIndianapolis
  2. 2.Department of Sociology and Criminal JusticeOld Dominion UniversityNorfolk
  3. 3.Marion County Justice AgencyIndianapolis

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