The Long View of Crime: A Synthesis of Longitudinal Research

  • Akiva M. Liberman

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages I-XIII
  2. Introduction and Executive Summary

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Akiva M. Liberman
      Pages 3-20
  3. Crime and the Life Course

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 21-21
    2. Marvin D. Krohn, Terence P. Thornberry
      Pages 128-160
    3. Sonja E. Siennick, D. Wayne Osgood
      Pages 161-187
  4. Intervening in the Life-Course of Crime

  5. Future Directions

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 255-255
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 305-318

About this book


Criminology has long been concerned with many questions that are inherently longitudinal. What is the developmental life-course of criminal behavior? Is there one general offending pattern or multiple offending patterns? Which early risk factors, if any, are strongly predictive of criminal behavior? Do particular interventions prevent or retard future criminal behavior?

Longitudinal research following individuals over many years has unique potential to answer such questions, although such studies take many years to conduct. Many longitudinal studies of crime and delinquency initiated since the 1980s have produced hundreds of published papers, providing an unprecedented opportunity to address such questions.

What have we learned? The six reviews in The Long View of Crime synthesize findings from about 200 papers from over 60 longitudinal studies. Three considerations guided the choice of topics for review: (a) a critical mass of studies; (b) an emphasis on longitudinal methods; and (c) policy relevance.

The volume focuses on adolescence. Several adolescent experiences are considered directly, including employment, gang involvement, and first arrests. Adolescence is also considered in relation to early childhood, from a focus on the end of adolescence, and as situated in the longer context of criminal careers.

The volume begins with an introduction and executive summary, and concludes with a chapter considering future directions in using longitudinal research to study causes of delinquency. In addition, an Appendix lists each longitudinal study in the volume along with essential study features, and cross-lists the studies with the reviews. This shows which longitudinal studies informed each topic, and also indicates analytic opportunities not yet explored.


Adolescence Crime Criminal Behavior Criminology Delinquency Gang criminal career criminal justice longitudinal

Editors and affiliations

  • Akiva M. Liberman
    • 1
  1. 1.National Institute of JusticeWashington

Bibliographic information