Which substance and what community? Differences in juvenile disposition severity

Yvonne M. Terry-McElrath, Duane C. McBride, Erin Ruel, Eileen M. Harwood, Curtis J. VanderWaal, Frank J. Chaloupka

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


There is a need in the literature for research describing disposition severity differences between specific drug and alcohol law violations within the context of community characteristics. We conducted an exploratory study of prosecutor-reported juvenile disposition severity by both specific drug charge and community context using a national sample of prosecutors from communities surrounding schools participating in the nationally representative Monitoring the Future survey. Results indicated (a) strong within- and between-substance disposition severity variance as well as (b) evidence for differential effects of both prosecutor case load and community characteristics, including community income, ethnicity, and region.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)548-572
Number of pages25
JournalCrime and Delinquency
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Disposition severity
  • Drug
  • Juvenile


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