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Intergenerational Discontinuity of Delinquency: A First Look
Unformatted Document Text:  Intergenerational studies of offending have directed their attention on solely on intergenerational continuity, and nothing is known about intergenerational discontinuity. This paper asks: how should we define intergenerational continuity; how much discontinuity exists; and what individual, family, peer and school and neighborhood factors are related to intergenerational discontinuity? This paper investigates for the first time what factors might contribute to a lack of delinquency in children born to parents who were delinquent as adolescents using a longitudinal, intergenerational, framework. The sample used in this study consists of children enrolled in the Rochester Intergenerational Study born to parents (both male and female) who participated in the Rochester Youth Development Study and who occupied delinquent trajectory groups during childhood. After drawing from developmental and intergenerational theories of delinquency to establish a meaningful definition of intergenerational discontinuity, its occurrence is documented using univariate analyses. A ‘discontinuity’ group of children, defined using measures of delinquency in early childhood, is compared to all other children in the sample along a variety of measures using t-tests. Factors included in analyses are those demonstrated to increase the likelihood of desistence of antisocial behavior by parents, increase the likelihood of intergenerational continuity (and so are reverse coded), and delay the onset of delinquency in children. Individual-, family-, peer-, school-, and neighborhood-related factors are therefore included. Contributions, limitations, and future directions of this analysis are discussed. data use: rev. 08/22/06 1

Authors: Lovegrove, Peter.
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Intergenerational studies of offending have directed their attention on solely on 
intergenerational continuity, and nothing is known about intergenerational discontinuity. 
This paper asks: how should we define intergenerational continuity; how much 
discontinuity exists; and what individual, family, peer and school and neighborhood 
factors are related to intergenerational discontinuity?  This paper investigates for the 
first time what factors might contribute to a lack of delinquency in children born to 
parents who were delinquent as adolescents using a longitudinal, intergenerational, 
framework.  
The sample used in this study consists of children enrolled in the Rochester 
Intergenerational Study born to parents (both male and female) who participated in the 
Rochester Youth Development Study and who occupied delinquent trajectory groups 
during childhood.  After drawing from developmental and intergenerational theories of 
delinquency to establish a meaningful definition of intergenerational discontinuity, its 
occurrence is documented using univariate analyses.  A ‘discontinuity’ group of children, 
defined using measures of delinquency in early childhood, is compared to all other 
children in the sample along a variety of measures using t-tests. Factors included in 
analyses are those demonstrated to increase the likelihood of desistence of antisocial 
behavior by parents, increase the likelihood of intergenerational continuity (and so are 
reverse coded), and delay the onset of delinquency in children.  Individual-, family-, 
peer-, school-, and neighborhood-related factors are therefore included.  Contributions, 
limitations, and future directions of this analysis are discussed.
data use:  rev. 08/22/06
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