Building Solutions. Supporting Communities. Advancing Justice.
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Working for Youth Justice and Safety
Multimedia Use Home
skip navigationAbout OJJDPE-NewsOJJDP resources organized topicallyFundingProgramsState representatives and organizations that administer OJJDP programsPublicationsleft navigation groupPublications SearchNCJRS LibraryTypes of PublicationsList of All PublicationsOJJDP Research and StatisticsOJJDP conferences, teleconferences, and juvenile justice-related events Tools Home
   Home > Topics >  Search Results > Abstract

    Publication Abstract

Psychosocial Maturity and Desistance From Crime in a Sample of Serious Juvenile Offenders
(NCJ 248391) March 2015
OJJDP Pathways to Desistance, Bulletin, 12 page(s)
L. Steinberg, E. Cauffman, and K. C. Monahan
The Pathways to Desistance bulletin series presents findings from a multidisciplinary investigation into why many youth who have committed serious offenses stop or reduce offending as they mature whereas others continue to offend into adulthood. The study followed more than 1,300 adolescents in the Philadelphia, PA, and Phoenix, AZ, metropolitan areas for 7 years following their convictions. This bulletin presents key findings on the link between psychosocial maturity and desistance from crime in males in the Pathways to Desistance study. Youth experience a protracted maturation, into their mid-twenties, of brain systems responsible for self-regulation. Those whose antisocial behavior persisted into young adulthood were less psychologically mature and had more developmental deficits than other antisocial youth. The vast majority of juveniles who commit offenses, even those who commit serious offenses, grow out of antisocial activity by early adulthood as they develop more impulse control and future orientation as a natural part of maturing in general.