Identifying and predicting offending trajectories among poor children

Ick Joong Chung, J. David Hawkins, Lewayne D. Gilchrist, Karl G. Hill, Daniel S. Nagin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Using data from the Seattle Social Development Project, we identify childhood predictors of offending trajectories among poor children. Five trajectories are identified: nonoffenders, late onsetters, desisters, escalators, and chronic offenders. Among initial nonoffenders, late onsetters are distinguished from nonoffenders by early alcohol drinking. Among youths already delinquent at age 13, escalators are distinguished from desisters by poor family management, family conflict, association with antisocial peers, the presence of troubled children in their neighborhoods, and drug availability. In contrast to prior findings for a general urban sample, family factors significantly predict desistance from offending by age 18 in children from low-income families.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)662-684
Number of pages23
JournalSocial Service Review
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2002


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