Natural experiment in deviant peer exposure and youth recidivism.


Journal Article

Little empirical data exist addressing potential iatrogenic effects of placing youth in juvenile justice settings. We took advantage of a natural experiment in one state where juvenile offenders are evaluated in either residential settings characterized by high-density contact with delinquent youth or community settings with naturally varying contact with delinquent peers. Higher rates of subsequent recidivism were found among first-time offenders when evaluation occurred in residential (N = 1,255) as opposed to community settings (N = 752). This finding was replicated in a subset (N = 634 per group) matched using propensity scores for five predictors of recidivism. Findings are interpreted in light of a deviancy training process occurring in residential juvenile justice settings.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Shapiro, CJ; Smith, BH; Malone, PS; Collaro, AL

Published Date

  • January 2010

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 39 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 242 - 251

PubMed ID

  • 20390815

Pubmed Central ID

  • 20390815

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1537-4424

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1537-4416

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1080/15374410903532635


  • eng