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adolescent-limited offenders

Kids who get into minor scrapes as youths but whose misbehavior ends when they enter adulthood.

authority conflict pathway

Pathway to delinquent deviance that begins at an early age with stubborn behavior and leads to defiance and then to authority avoidance.

covert pathway

Pathway to a delinquent career that begins with minor underhanded behavior, leads to property damage, and eventually escalates to more serious forms of theft and fraud.

cumulative disadvantage

A condition whereby serious delinquency in adolescence undermines things such as employability and social relations and helps increase the chances of continued offending in adulthood.

developmental theory

The view that delinquency is a dynamic process, influenced by social experiences as well as individual characteristics.

General Theory of Crime (GTC)

A developmental theory that modifies social control theory by integrating concepts from biosocial, psychological, routine activities, and rational choice theories.

integrated theories

Theories that incorporate social, personal, and developmental factors into complex explanations of human behavior.

latent trait

A stable feature, characteristic, property, or condition, such as defective intelligence or impulsive personality, that makes some people delinquency-prone over the life course.

life-course persisters

Delinquents who begin their offending career at a very early age and continue to offend well into adulthood.

life-course theory

Theory that focuses on changes in criminality over the life course; developmental theory.

overt pathway

Pathway to a delinquent career that begins with minor aggression, leads to physical fighting, and eventually escalates to violent delinquency.

problem behavior syndrome (PBS)

A cluster of antisocial behaviors that may include family dysfunction, substance abuse, smoking, precocious sexuality and early pregnancy, educational underachievement, suicide attempts, sensation seeking, and unemployment, as well as delinquency.

self-control theory

The theory of delinquency that holds that antisocial behavior is caused by a lack of self-control stemming from an impulsive personality.

social capital

Positive relations with individuals and institutions, as in a successful marriage or a successful career, that support conventional behavior and inhibit deviant behavior.

turning points

Positive life experiences such as gaining employment, getting married, or joining the military, which create informal social control mechanisms that limit delinquent behavior opportunities.

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