Does the perceived risk of sanctions influence juvenile delinquent behavior or vice versa: Results from a German longitudinal study

Daniel Seddig, Helmut Hirtenlehner, Jost Reinecke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Perceptual deterrence research is characterized by a numerical dominance of cross-sectional studies. However, cross-sectional studies are unable to separate experiential effects (effects of prior delinquency on subsequent perceptions of sanction risk) from deterrent effects (effects of current perceptions of sanction risk on subsequent delinquency). The few longitudinal studies in the field, allowing to disentangle experiential and deterrent effects, usually find that experiential effects exist and that they are substantially larger than the deterrent effect. With panel data from 1950 adolescents, collected in a longitudinal study in Duisburg, Germany, this paper investigates the existence of experiential and deterrent effects during adolescence. Results from a panel model with autoregressive and cross-lagged effects suggest the dominance of experiential effects. Evidence in favor of deterrence remains limited, suggesting a critical view on findings from cross-sectional perceptual deterrence research and skepticism concerning the crime-preventive returns of more frequent legal punishment.

Translated title of the contributionDoes the perceived risk of sanctions influence juvenile delinquent behavior or vice versa: Results from a German longitudinal study
Original languageGerman
Pages (from-to)259-282
Number of pages24
JournalKölner Zeitschrift für Soziologie und Sozialpsychologie
Volume69
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2017

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