Youth with poor self-regulation or criminal attitudes are at risk for recidivism. Researchers have yet to examine how self-regulation and criminal attitudes intermix to influence recidivism. The present study employed a large sample of 26,947 youth in the Florida Juvenile Justice System to examine the effect of criminal attitudes on the association between self-regulation and recidivism over a 1-year period. The results indicated that the influence of self-regulation on recidivism varied based on youths’ attitudes. Although self-regulation affected recidivism among youth with average (dy/dx = –.03, SE = .01, p < .001) and less criminal (dy/dx = –.05, SE = .01, p < .001) attitudes, self-regulation was not associated with recidivism among youth with more criminal attitudes (dy/dx = –.01, SE = .01, p = .150). These findings demonstrate mechanisms that may promote sustained justice system involvement and identify key levers for reducing youth recidivism.
Adam Fine, Michael T. Baglivio, Elizabeth Cauffman, Kevin T. Wolff, Alex R. Piquero
Criminal Justice and Behavior, November 20, 2017