Juvenile Justice Volume: 9 Issue: 1 Dated: September 2004 Pages: 3-35
This issue features an article that summarizes a few of the empirical findings of three longitudinal studies on the causes and correlates of juvenile delinquency, as well as an article that explains how local leaders can use risk-factor research in addressing youth gangs, a problem that affects communities nationwide.
Each of the three longitudinal studies -- the Denver Youth Survey, the Pittsburgh Youth Study, and the Rochester Youth Development Study -- used a design in which a sample of children and/or adolescents was selected and then followed over time to chart the course of their development. The studies oversampled youth at high risk for serious delinquency; however, because the studies used statistical weighting, the samples were representative of the broader population of urban adolescents. The studies produced data on delinquent behavior of sample subjects from 1987 to the present (2003) and have included more than 4,000 subjects who have ranged in age from 7 to 30. The samples included a strong representation of serious, violent, and chronic offenders. Two of the key risk factors for delinquency identified from the three studies and discussed in this article are child maltreatment and gangs. The second featured article presents a framework for a strategic, risk-based response to youth gangs that can be adopted even without full communitywide collaboration and regardless of whether the focus is prevention, intervention, or suppression, or a combination of these methods. The article advises that a strategic, risk-based response must be grounded in a general understanding of youth gangs combined with an in-depth knowledge of local youth gang problems. A third article profiles three projects that have used a community approach to reduce risk factors for delinquency through the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention's Title V Community Prevention Grants Program. The three programs are the Youth and Families with Promise program in two Utah counties, the Parent Project in Minidoka County, ID, and the Adopt-A-Class program in Easton, PA. This issue concludes with summaries of seven recent publications regarding delinquency issues.
Date Published: September 1, 2004