Delinquency abstainers in adolescence and educational and labor market outcomes in midlife: A population-based 25-year longitudinal study.

Journal Article

Research has suggested that adolescent delinquency abstainers might have unfavorable characteristics, impeding their access to peer networks. However, recent studies have emphasized the possible heterogeneity of abstainers. We know little about the long-term adaption of delinquency abstainers. We identify subtypes of delinquency abstainers and investigate subsequent adult academic careers, income levels, and possible marginalization in the labor market. We use the population-based Young in Norway Longitudinal study, where participants (N = 2,494) are followed up by surveys and registers from their teens until their mid-30s. By means of latent class analysis, abstainers were divided in three groups according to degree of social integration. Results showed that delinquency abstainers performed as well or better in adulthood than those with moderate delinquency involvement and markedly better than the highly delinquent. Lonely abstainers performed just as well as all other groups when it comes to higher education and earnings. However, they had a higher probability of marginalization in the labor market than the social abstainers. We conclude that no group fared better than delinquency abstainers with strong social ties. The outcomes of the lonely abstainers were close to those of the majority. Thus, in this cohort who came of age in the 1990s, delinquency abstainers are not particularly vulnerable, and theory about abstainers needs to be modernized. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved).

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Pedersen, W; Hart, RK; Moffitt, TE; von Soest, T

Published Date

  • November 2020

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 56 / 11

Start / End Page

  • 2167 - 2176

PubMed ID

  • 32986449

Pubmed Central ID

  • 32986449

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1939-0599

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0012-1649

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1037/dev0001117


  • eng