Theory and Research on Desistance from Antisocial Activity Among Serious Adolescent Offenders

Publication Date: July 2004

Publisher: MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Adolescent Development and Juvenile Justice (ADJJ)

Author(s): Sandra H. Losoya; Thomas Hecker; Carol A. Schubert; Robert Brame; George P. Knight; Laurie Chassin; Alex R. Piquero; Elizabeth Cauffman; Jeffrey Fagan; Laurence Steinberg; Edward P. Mulvey

Research Area: Justice; Population and demographics; Social conditions

Keywords: Behavioral development; Stopping antisocial behavior; Juvenile offenders; Desistance from crime

Type: Report

Coverage: United States


Improving juvenile court decision making requires information about how serious adolescent offenders desist from antisocial activity. A systematic research agenda on this topic requires consideration of several processes, including normative development in late adolescence, what constitutes desistance, and the factors likely to promote the end of involvement in antisocial behavior and successful adjustment in early adulthood. This article presents an overview of the major points to consider in pursuing this research agenda.