Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)


Criminal Justice and Criminology

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Jennifer Pealer

Committee Members

Dustin Osborne, John Whitehead


Current research indicates an association between intense adolescent work (twenty hours or more per week) and delinquent behavior. It has been widely speculated that this relationship is spurious, occurring only as a result of other factors which are common to both offending and intense employment. The current study attempts to fill a gap in the literature by utilizing the Pathways to Desistance dataset to examine the evolution of the relationship between work and self-reported offending in a longitudinal sample of juvenile offenders. Work intensity and consistency, social capital, and expectations for success were analyzed as potential predictors of recidivism or desistance as juvenile offenders mature into adulthood. Variations in the significance of these variables throughout the first seven waves of data collection were examined from the life course perspective. Results provide support for the theory of age graded social control and suggest that high risk youth self-select into intensive work roles as adolescents. No statistically significant differences in lifetime offending were found between respondents across varying levels of work intensity.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.