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Trajectories of Change in Criminal Offending: Good Marriages and the Desistance Process

John H. Laub, Daniel S. Nagin and Robert J. Sampson
American Sociological Review
Vol. 63, No. 2 (Apr., 1998), pp. 225-238
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2657324
Page Count: 14
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Trajectories of Change in Criminal Offending: Good Marriages and the Desistance Process
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Abstract

Building on Sampson and Laub (1993), we draw an analogy between changes in criminal offending spurred by the formation of social bonds and an investment process. This conceptualization suggests that because investment in social relationships is gradual and cumulative, resulting desistance will be gradual and cumulative. Using a dynamic statistical model developed by Nagin and Land (1993), we test our ideas about change using yearly longitudinal data from Glueck and Glueck's (1950, 1968) classic study of criminal careers. Our results show that desistance from crime is facilitated by the development of quality marital bonds, and that this influence is gradual and cumulative over time.

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