Perceptions of Success in Serious Juvenile Offenders: A Group-Based Trajectory Approach




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Despite having implications for several theoretical frameworks in criminology, most notably Robert Agnew’s General Strain Theory (1992), few researchers have assessed the impact of how serious offenders’ perceptions of success are related to the perceived chances of their getting a good job, finishing school, getting married, and staying out of the criminal justice system over a several year period. The following research evaluates the changes in chances of success using Group-Based Trajectory Analysis over time to assess whether: 1. Certain groups of offenders tend to follow differing trajectories of perceived chances for success over a seven-year time period, 2. These groups differ in levels of offending and criminal behavior, and 3. Demographic variables predict group membership. Results show perceptions of success do follow distinct trajectories, these trajectories are significantly related to crime, and demographic variables do influence group membership. The results have theoretical importance and may have practical policy implications for some of the most serious juvenile offenders.



Juvenile delinquents-Longitudinal studies, Criminal statistics, Success, Perception


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