An Examination of Risk Factors Contributing to Adult Recidivism of Juvenile Delinquents

Hadied, Leena, and Margaret Stack

Increased rates of recidivism have a negative impact on society as whole, in addition to the life of the individual offender. Recidivism of juvenile delinquents into adulthood leads to the increased risk of legal, financial, social, and educational consequences. Past research has documented rates of recidivism among juvenile offenders to be between 30 and 70 percent.  While minor or short-term participation in delinquent activities is seen as relatively normal during adolescence, continuous re-offending throughout adulthood is indicative of a serious problem for society and the individual offender.  This study examines the risk factors involved with recidivism into adulthood within four domains: individual, family, school, and community. Results suggest a significant relationship between recidivism in adulthood and juvenile delinquents with aggressive characteristics and social cognitive limitations, as measured by Millon Adolescent Clinical Inventory (MACI) subscales.  Depression and anxiety, also measured by MACI subscales, were found to be highly correlated with adult offending.  Early identification and intervention plays a key role is reducing the rates of recidivism and future consequences.