Conceptions of adulthood have changed dramatically in recent decades. Despite such changes, however, the notion that young people will eventually "settle down" and desist from delinquent behaviors is remarkably persistent. This article unites criminology with classic work on age norms and role behavior to contend that people who persist in delinquency will be less likely to make timely adult transitions. The empirical analysis supports this proposition, with both arrest and self-reported crime blocking the passage to adult status. The authors conclude that desisting from delinquency is an important part of the package of role behaviors that define adulthood.
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