BRIDGING CRIMINAL CAREERS, THEORY, AND POLICY THROUGH LATENT VARIABLE MODELS OF INDIVIDUAL OFFENDING

D. WAYNE OSGOOD, DAVID C. ROWE

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

59 Scopus citations

Abstract

Our goal is to build bridges between theoretical criminology, the study of criminal careers, and policy‐relevant research. Insights from the criminal career and propensity positions lead us to seek (1) a comprehensive means of incorporating theoretical variables in research on criminal careers, (2) statistical models that yield meaningful projections relevant to public policy issues, and (3) methods for comparing findings for different measures of offending. We present a conceptual framework accomplishing this by applying the general linear model to the study of crime and criminal careers. This framework differentiates the elements of (1) a curvilinear function linking the scale of the linear model and the scale of the measure of offending, (2) a probabilistic relationship between a latent tendency to offend and the measure of offending, (3) a probability distribution of individual differences on the latent dimension, and (4) relationships among repeated observations for the same individual. We describe numerous versions of the general linear model that do not require special statistical expertise and are appropriate for the full range of measures of offending. We conclude by addressing strategies for comparing results across measures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)517-554
Number of pages38
JournalCriminology
Volume32
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1994

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Law

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