Are Risky Youth Less Protectable as They Age? The Dynamics of Protection during Adolescence and Young Adulthood

Shawn D. Bushway, Marvin D. Krohn, Alan J. Lizotte, Matthew D. Phillips, Nicole M. Schmidt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Research on recidivism in criminal justice and desistance in criminology are not integrated. Yet, both fields are moving towards models that look at how positive elements in a person's environment can impact a person's behavior, conditional on different levels of risk. This study builds on this observation by applying interactional theory and the concept of Risk-Needs-Responsivity to theorize that both Needs and Responsivity will change over time in predictable ways. We then use a novel empirical approach with the Rochester Youth Development Study to show that even in late adolescence, individuals who are at risk for violence can be protected from future violence and risky behavior like gun carrying with positive events in their environment and personal life. In young adulthood, fewer people are still at risk for violence, and those who are at risk are harder to protect from future violence and gun carrying.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)84-116
Number of pages33
JournalJustice Quarterly
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2013
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Support for the Rochester Youth Development Study has been provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CE001295), the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (86-JN-CX-0007, 96-MU-FX-0014, 2004-MU-FX-0062), the National Institute on Drug Abuse (DA020195, DA005512), the National Science Foundation (SBR-9123299, SES-9123299), and the National Institute of Mental Health (MH56486, MH63386). Work on this project was also aided by grants to the Center for Social and Demographic Analysis at the University at Albany from NICHD (P30-HD32041) and NSF (SBR-9512290).


  • developmental stages
  • risk and protective factors
  • trajectory analysis
  • youth violence


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