Developmental Changes in Adolescence and Risks for Delinquency



Adolescence is a critical developmental period considering the quantity and intensity of related changes (e.g., biological and psychosocial), which may represent, in themselves, risks for present and future delinquency. It is indeed well established that the age–crime curve peaks during adolescence (e.g., Landsheer and van Dijkum 2005) and that the rate and severity of offences occurring during this period are strong predictors of later offences (e.g., Overbeek et al. 2001). Furthermore, the number of juvenile offences is extremely high in the USA, with 2.11 million juveniles arrested in 2008, a rate of about 2.4% of 10- to 17-year olds. Among these, 96,000 juveniles were arrested for violent crimes, including 1,280 murders (Sickmund 2010; Puzzanchera et al. 2010). Despite the frequency of juvenile delinquency, young offenders are rarely taken into consideration in the literature on normative adolescent development, and it would be consequently incorrect to assume that delinquency precludes youth from experiencing processes that are typical during this developmental period (e.g., Knight et al. 2009). Accordingly, the ways in which the justice system responds to juvenile offending should be informed by the lessons of developmental science (Steinberg 2009).


Antisocial Behavior Ethnic Identity Identity Formation Delinquent Behavior Risk Taking 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Child Study CenterYale UniversityNew HavenUSA
  2. 2.School of MedicineYale UniversityNew HavenUSA

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