This paper examines multidisciplinary correlates of delinquency in an attempt to integrate sociological and environmental theories of crime with human developmental and biological explanations of crime. Structural equation models are applied to assess links among biological, psychological, and environmental variables collected prospectively from birth through age 17 on a sample of 800 black children at high risk for learning and behavioral disorders. Results show that for both males and females, aggression and disciplinary problems in school during adolescence are the strongest predictors of repeat offense behavior. Whereas school achievement and family income and stability are also significant predictors of delinquency for males, early physical development is the next strongest predictor for females. Results indicate that some effects on delinquency also vary during different ages. It is suggested that behavioral and learning disorders have both sociological and developmental correlates and that adequate educational resources are necessary to ensure channels of "legitimate opportunities" for high-risk youths.
Deborah W. Denno,
Sociological and Human Developmental Explanations of Crime: Conflict or Consensus , 23 Criminology 711
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