Correlates Associated with Escalation of Delinquent Behavior in Incarcerated Youths

Richard A. Van Dorn, James Herbert Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


This study investigates the extent to which attitudes, family, and environmental correlates are associated with the escalation from nonviolent to violent offending among incarcerated youths. Escalation was defined as an adjudicated violent offense only after arrests and adjudications exclusively for nonviolent offenses. Data were collected from 50 respondents (25 escalators and 25 maintainers of nonviolent offending) incarcerated in a secure facility in the midwestern United States. Beliefs that power equates safety and a violent home environment were salient in understanding escalation in offending behavior, and prior criminal victimization was moderately significant. Implications for individual and family preventive interventions and delinquency theories are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)523-531
Number of pages9
JournalSocial work
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescence
  • Attitudes
  • Correlates
  • Delinquency
  • Escalation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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