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Northwestern Juvenile Project Examines Death in Delinquent Youth in Adolescence and Young Adulthood

July 9, 2014

A new article by researchers on the Northwestern Juvenile Project, published in the July 2014 issue of Pediatrics, found that delinquent youth are at great risk of violent death up to 16 years after detention. The article examines causes of death by gender and race/ethnicity and analyzes risk factors associated with subsequent death. Some key findings:

  • Death rates were 2.1 to 9.6 times higher in delinquent youth than in the general population.
  • The most common cause of death was homicide with a firearm.
  • Compared with non-Hispanic whites, African Americans had 4.5 times the risk of death by homicide.
  • Delinquent females died at nearly 5 times the rate of the general population.
  • Death rates in Hispanic males and females were 5 and 9 times the rate of the general population, respectively.
  • Drug dealing, alcohol use disorder, and gang membership predicted external-cause mortality and homicide for as long as a decade later.

Access to the article will be open through August 31, 2014.

The Northwestern Juvenile Project is the first large-scale longitudinal study of the health needs and outcomes of youth after detention. OJJDP, other federal agencies, and private foundations fund the study.


View and download the OJJDP bulletin "The Northwestern Juvenile Project: Overview."