'Utilizing the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY97), this federally supported study provides criminal justice practitioners and policymakers with an overview of problem and law-violating behavior of juveniles and young adults. Key findings from the longitudinal study include: (1) most law-violating behaviors initiated by juveniles were abandoned by age 18; (2) major risk factors for engaging in problem behaviors included gang membership among family members or friends, the presence of higher levels of negative school-based peer behaviors, disconnection from both school and work, and having resided in a household without both biological parents present; (3) for juveniles ages 12 to 17, after risk and protective factors were taken into account, African-Americans and Hispanics were less likely than Whites to report smoking, drinking, using marijuana, using hard drugs, running away from home, vandalism, minor theft, major theft, fraud/fencing, drug selling, or carrying a handgun; and (4) in general, females were less likely than males to initiate problem behaviors or to engage in problem behaviors with high frequency.' [From NCJRS abstract]
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