Does the Effect of Self-Regulation on Adolescent Recidivism Vary by Youths’ Attitudes?

Adam Fine, Michael T. Baglivio, Elizabeth Cauffman, Kevin T. Wolff, Alex R. Piquero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Youth with poor self-regulation or criminal attitudes are at risk for recidivism. Researchers have yet to examine how self-regulation and criminal attitudes intermix to influence recidivism. The present study employed a large sample of 26,947 youth in the Florida Juvenile Justice System to examine the effect of criminal attitudes on the association between self-regulation and recidivism over a 1-year period. The results indicated that the influence of self-regulation on recidivism varied based on youths’ attitudes. Although self-regulation affected recidivism among youth with average (dy/dx = –.03, SE =.01, p <.001) and less criminal (dy/dx = –.05, SE =.01, p <.001) attitudes, self-regulation was not associated with recidivism among youth with more criminal attitudes (dy/dx = –.01, SE =.01, p =.150). These findings demonstrate mechanisms that may promote sustained justice system involvement and identify key levers for reducing youth recidivism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)214-233
Number of pages20
JournalCriminal Justice and Behavior
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • criminal attitudes
  • juvenile justice
  • recidivism
  • self-regulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Psychology(all)
  • Law


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