Implications for Theory and Policy

  • Paul E. Tracy
  • Kimberly Kempf-Leonard
Part of the The Plenum Series in Crime and Justice book series (PSIC)


The criminal history data used in this study do not offer a wide array of theoretically relevant variables, so our research cannot be used to explain why some youths begin their offending careers in the first place. We readily accept the characterization and the implied criticism offered by Sampson and Laub that, although the 1958 cohort study “has provided key information on criminal offending and has served as a stimulus for research, explanatory characteristics were limited largely to structural and demographic variables (such as poverty and race)” (1993: 23). We are not apologetic about this aspect of the data; rather, we hope we have adopted a realistic position about their strengths and weaknesses.


Juvenile Justice Juvenile Offender Juvenile Justice System Juvenile Court Criminal Career 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul E. Tracy
    • 1
  • Kimberly Kempf-Leonard
    • 2
  1. 1.University of TexasDallasUSA
  2. 2.University of Missouri-St. LouisSt. LouisUSA

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