Contemporary Issues in Longitudinal Research
Criminology has increasingly embraced the longitudinal approach to the study of delinquency and crime. Most significantly, longitudinal methods, or at least data that are longitudinal in character, have become the principal means for the investigation of criminal careers. Indeed, over the past two decades, criminological research has increasingly focused on a particular category of offender and his associated criminal behavior. This particular focus has concerned what was originally referred to as the “chronic offender” (Wolfgang et al., 1972). The current focus, however, has evolved beyond just the category of the habitual or chronic offender itself, to a broader concern with topics such as “criminal careers” and “career criminals” (see Blumstein et al., 1986).
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