Synthesis and Outlook

  • Josine Junger-TasEmail author
  • Ineke Haen Marshall
  • Dirk Enzmann
  • Martin Killias
  • Majone Steketee
  • Beata Gruszczynska


The contributions in this book provide a first glimpse into the rich data from our collaborative international study of self-reported delinquency and victimisation. Each chapter stands on its own and tells its own story, albeit with a common core content: Tables of life-time and last year prevalences of offending.

It is tempting to compare the prevalences reported in the chapters of the present volume to see in which countries juveniles are more delinquent. Generally speaking, this is only admissible under two conditions: First, delinquency has to be measured not only validly and reliably, but also in a similar way. Research on survey methodology and the social psychology of questionnaire design has shown that the context and wording of questions and answer formats may have strong effects on the answers elicited (Sudman et al., 1996; Schwarz, 1999). We believe that in this respect ISRD-2 has been successful: With only a few exceptions1, all the participants used the same questionnaire items (translated into 24 languages) in an identical sequence and with identical answer formats. This is a clear progress compared to ISRD-1 where the lack of comparability concerning prevalence and incidence measures of delinquency were identified as the major problem precluding a direct comparison of prevalence rates (Junger-Tas et al., 2003, p. 147). Second, the samples have to be representative for the population of juveniles in the respective countries. It should be kept in mind, that most participants of ISRD-2 used city based samples of seventh to ninth grade students (about 12/13 to 14/15 years of age), whereas some countries used national samples (nearly always oversampling at least one large city, see the introductory chapter). Thus, comparisons should only be made with respect to large city prevalence rates. One has to admit, however, that response rates differ, that not always could true random samples of classes be achieved,2 and that not all results presented in the previous chapters are based on seventh to ninth grade students.3


Delinquent Behaviour Juvenile Delinquency Crime Victimisation Introductory Chapter Collaborative International Study 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Josine Junger-Tas
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ineke Haen Marshall
  • Dirk Enzmann
  • Martin Killias
  • Majone Steketee
  • Beata Gruszczynska
  1. 1.Willem Pompe Institute of CriminologyUniversity of UtrechtUtrechtThe Netherlands

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