Parenthood, Maturation, and Desistance: Examining Parenthood Transition Effects on Maturation Domains and Subsequent Reoffending

  • Rebecca StoneEmail author
  • Jason Rydberg
Original Article



We employ Rocque's (Criminology & Criminal Justice, 15(3), 340–360, 2015) integrated maturation theory of desistance to examine the impact of parenthood on four maturation domains and on desistance from self-reported offending among a sample of serious adolescent offenders.


Using a subsample from the Pathways to Desistance panel (N = 1221), we employ Bayesian mixed-effect growth curve models to examine whether transition to parenthood shocks growth to maturation domains, whether growth in maturation domains is associated with self-reported offending, and whether any effects differ between males and females.


The analysis suggests that, particularly for males, parenthood does have some effect on the growth of certain maturation domains, and that maturation domains are variably associated with offending for both males and females, but that parenthood does not affect offending through its impact on maturation.


The relationship between parenthood and desistance from offending remains unclear. Parenthood appears to affect maturation, and maturation appears to affect offending, but the connection between these concepts needs further research. Concerning integrated maturation theory and similar perspectives, future research should reassess age-graded, “role transition” theories of desistance considering evolving meanings of adulthood.


Parenthood Desistance Integrated maturation theory Growth curve models 



We would like to thank Michael Rocque for his thoughtful review of an earlier draft of this manuscript. Additionally, we would like to thank Beth Huebner, Jarrod Hadfield, Joseph Schwartz, Jillian Turanovic, and the anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments.

Supplementary material

40865_2019_123_MOESM1_ESM.docx (58 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 57 kb)


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologySuffolk UniversityBostonUSA
  2. 2.School of Criminology and Justice StudiesUniversity of Massachusetts LowellLowellUSA

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