Frequency, Persistence/Continuity, Onset, Desistance, Career Duration, Recidivism, and Chronic Offending

  • Rolf Loeber
  • Wesley G. Jennings
  • Lia Ahonen
  • Alex R. Piquero
  • David P. Farrington
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Criminology book series (BRIEFSCRIMINOL)


This chapter reports on key criminal career dimensions for girls, such as offense frequency, persistence/continuity, onset, desistance, and career duration, in addition to recidivism and chronic offending. For many girls, the delinquency career was short: one in five of the active offenders only committed a single offense between the ages of 11 and 19. In contrast, the results also showed the concentration of offending in a small group of girls: one in ten of the girls committed 10 or more offenses. Four out of ten of the active offenders became chronic offenders (defined as five or more offenses; see Wolfgang et al., Delinquency in a birth cohort. University of Chicago Press, 1972), which reflects the evolution of chronic female offenders in the PGS. The girls committed over 9,000 offenses between ages 11 and 19, indicating the enormous burden for victims and for the justice system. The frequency of self-reported offending increased from age 11, peaked at age 15, and declined by age 19. However, the frequency of drug dealing was the exception which increased with age (see also, Chap.  2). The continuity of offending between ages 11–14 and 15–19 was substantial, but continuity was highest for early-onset offending girls compared to late-onset offending girls. The average career duration for those who started offending between ages 11 and 14 was 2.7 years, compared to less than a year (0.7 years) for those who started offending between ages 15 and 19.


Onset Frequency Chronic offending Desistance Criminal careers 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rolf Loeber
    • 1
  • Wesley G. Jennings
    • 2
  • Lia Ahonen
    • 1
    • 3
  • Alex R. Piquero
    • 4
  • David P. Farrington
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA
  2. 2.Department of CriminologyUniversity of South FloridaTampaUSA
  3. 3.Örebro UniversityÖrebroSweden
  4. 4.University of Texas at Dallas Criminology ProgramRichardsonUSA
  5. 5.Institute of CriminologyUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK

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