U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Highlights of Findings From the Denver Youth Study

NCJ Number
Date Published
April 1999
2 pages
Key findings are presented from the Denver Youth Survey, a longitudinal study of 1,527 boys and girls from high-risk neighborhoods in Denver who were 7, 9, 11, 13, and 15 years old in 1987.
The primary goal of the study was to identify social conditions, personal characteristics, and developmental patterns linked to sustained involvement in delinquency and drug use. Overall, there was little change in the prevalence rates of delinquency, including serious delinquency and serious violence; however, the prevalence rate of gang fights among males doubled (from 8 percent to 16 percent). The level of injury from violent offenses increased substantially. The prevalence of victims of violence in need of hospitalization or being left unconscious almost doubled (from 33 percent to 58 percent). This increase corresponded to an increase in the use of weapons. The prevalence of drug use decreased substantially: alcohol from 80 percent to 50 percent, marijuana from 41 percent to 18 percent, and other drug use from 19 percent to 4 percent. The relationship between drug use and delinquency has changed. A smaller percentage of serious delinquents are using hard drugs (other than marijuana) (from 48 percent to 17 percent) and a greater percentage of hard drug users are serious offenders (from 27 percent to 48 percent). Key findings are also presented on the impact of arrest, risk and protective factors, victimization, and the multiple etiological pathways to delinquency. 1 reference

Date Published: April 1, 1999