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Romantic dissolution and offending during emerging adulthood

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Criminologists have directed significant theoretical and empirical attention toward the institution of marriage over the past two decades. Importantly, the momentum guiding this line of research has increased despite the fact that people are getting married far less often and

Criminologists have directed significant theoretical and empirical attention toward the institution of marriage over the past two decades. Importantly, the momentum guiding this line of research has increased despite the fact that people are getting married far less often and much later in the life course than in any point in American history. The aim of this dissertation is to address this disconnect by focusing attention to nonmarital romantic relationships and their instability during emerging adulthood. To do so, it uses data from the Pathways to Desistance Study, a longitudinal study of 1,354 at-risk males and females who were adjudicated from the juvenile and adult systems in Phoenix and Philadelphia between 2000 and 2003. The project focuses attention to the following issues: (1) the effect of romantic dissolution on aggressive and income-based offenses; (2) the extent to which strain
egative emotionality and peer influence/exposure account for the effect of romantic dissolution on crime; and (3) the extent to which certain relationship and individual circumstances moderate the effect of romantic dissolution. The models reveal a few key findings. First, romantic dissolution is strongly related to an increase in both aggressive and income-based crime, but is more strongly related to income-based crime. Second, the effect of romantic dissolution is reduced when measures of strain
egative emotionality and peer influence/exposure measures are added to models, but the peer influence/exposure measures account for the strongest reduction. Finally, romantic dissolution does not serve as a positive life event among these at-risk youth, but its effect is exacerbated under a number of contexts (e.g. when an individual is unemployed). This study closes with a summary of these findings as well as its key limitations, and offers insight into potential policy implications and avenues of future research.

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2013

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Do Young-Adult Cannabis Users Show Amotivation? An Analysis of Reports from Third-Party Observers

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Cannabis use has been purported to cause an amotivation-like syndrome among users. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether third party observers noticed amotivation among cannabis users. Participants in this study were 72 undergraduate university students, with a

Cannabis use has been purported to cause an amotivation-like syndrome among users. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether third party observers noticed amotivation among cannabis users. Participants in this study were 72 undergraduate university students, with a mean age of M=19.20 years old (SD=2.00). Participants nominated Informants who knew them well and these informants completed a version of the 18-item Apathy Evaluation Scale. Results indicated that more frequent cannabis use was associated with higher informant-reported levels of amotivation, even when controlling for age, sex, psychotic-like experiences, SES, alcohol use, tobacco use, other drug use, and depression symptoms (β=0.34, 95% CI: 0.04, 0.64, p=.027). A lack of motivation severe enough to be visible by a third party has the potential to have negative social impacts on individuals who use cannabis regularly.

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2016-12

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Criminal capital and the transition to adulthood

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Life course criminology is characterized by a two-pronged approach to research. The first branch emphasizes social integration and involvement with pro-social institutions as turning points in the criminal career. The second branch of this work assesses how access to the

Life course criminology is characterized by a two-pronged approach to research. The first branch emphasizes social integration and involvement with pro-social institutions as turning points in the criminal career. The second branch of this work assesses how access to the institutions that facilitate social integration are conditioned by factors such as involvement in the criminal justice system. Theories of capital are chiefly concerned with social integration and the continuity of conventionality, conformity, and prosperity offered through social ties and social networks. Absent from life course criminology is a better understanding of how different forms of criminal capital can influence access to institutions like higher education, marriage, and employment during the transition to adulthood. Drawing on insights from distinct bodies of literature on peers, capital, and status attainment, the present study elaborates on the influence of criminal capital for (un)successful transitions to adulthood. Using three waves of data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (“Add Health”), the effects of adolescent criminal social capital on criminal cultural and human capital, and subsequent educational, occupational, and marital attainment in early adulthood are examined. Results from a series of regression models demonstrate that criminal social capital has minimal effects on fatalistic beliefs or thoughtful and reflective decision making, and that these forms of criminal capital generally have inconsistent effects on later life transitions. Implications for theory and future research are discussed.

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2016