The timing of property crime, violent crime, and substance use among juveniles

  • Gottfredson D
  • Soulé D
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Data were obtained from an evaluation of Maryland's After-School Community Grant Program [MASCGP]. All participants registered in each after-school program at the beginning of the 2000-2001 school year were included in the evaluation. The current study used only the pretest measures from the large study. Pretest questionnaires were completed by 513 of the students. Just over half of the juveniles were in elementary school, and the remaining students were in middle school. Forty-seven percent of the students were male, and non-White youth were overrepresented, reflecting the MASCGP's focus on urban areas. The timing of and type of delinquency were measured by a series of questions that asked whether the respondent engaged in any of 14 types of crime during the past 12 months. For crimes acknowledged, they were then asked to indicate at what time of the day they usually engaged in that behavior. The observed number of individuals reporting each type of crime in each time period was compared to the number that would be expected under the assumption of random distribution of offending over six specified time periods and distribution of offending over the time period that is proportionate to the number of hours in each time period. Forty juveniles [7.8 percent] reported any drug use; 38 [7.4 percent] reported any property crime; and 111 [21.6 percent] reported any crimes against persons. The study found that crimes against persons were elevated during the after-school hours, but not as much as during school hours. Property crime and drug use were not significantly elevated during the after-school hours. Clearly, situational factors that vary by time of day are important for explaining the variation in delinquent behavior. 1 table and 15 references

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  • Delinquency
  • Timing of delinquency

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  • Denise C. Gottfredson

  • David A. Soulé

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