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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Early onset of delinquency and the trajectory of alcohol-impaired driving among young males

Building upon the literature in developmental and life-course criminology, the present study assesses the possible association of age onset of delinquency with the trajectory of alcohol-impaired driving using data collected from the three waves of the Buffalo Longitudinal Survey of Young Men (BLSYM).

It is argued that as a unique form of delinquency, alcohol-impaired driving among adolescents may be better understood in a broad context of adolescent delinquency involvement.

The study adopts the general approach for the analysis of early onset of delinquency and criminal careers in developmental and life-course criminology and hypothesizes that early onset of delinquency is associated with a higher growth of alcohol-impaired driving over time among adolescents when age onsets of alcohol-impaired driving, drinking, and drug use are controlled.

Our analysis with the HLM growth modeling method provides support for the hypothesis. Respondents who had an early start in delinquency were likely to have a faster growth of alcohol-impaired driving over the three waves of BLSYM, which implies that these respondents were likely to have a longer path of alcohol-impaired driving in their transition to adulthood.

The implication of this finding is discussed.

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