Misbehavior at school and delinquency elsewhere: A complex relationship

Frank M. Weerman*, Paul Harland, Peter H. Van Der Laan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)
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This article addresses the relationship between problem behaviors inside school (misbehavior) and outside school (delinquency). Self-report data about 12 types of misbehavior and 9 types of delinquency were collected among 1,978 secondary school students in The Netherlands of which 1,385 were followed up one year later. The relationship between misbehavior and delinquency was not studied before in such detail. The findings show that there is a general relationship between misbehavior inside school and delinquency elsewhere; however, this relationship appears to be less strong than suggested by earlier studies. Also the predictive value of misbehavior for later delinquency is limited because one half of the respondents who misbehave at school are not involved in delinquency one year later. However, serious forms of misbehavior do seem to increase the risk of later delinquency considerably. These findings nuance conclusions of earlier studies on the misbehavior-delinquency relationship.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)358-379
Number of pages22
JournalCriminal Justice Review
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2007
Externally publishedYes

Research programs

  • ESL – Diversen Oud


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