Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


School of Criminal Justice

Content Description

1 online resource (iii, 144 pages) : PDF file, illustrations (some color)

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Alan J Lizotte

Committee Members

Terence P Thornberry, Robert J Apel, Greg Pogarsky


Drug Selling, Drug Use, Factor Analysis, Life Course, Teenagers, Drug abuse

Subject Categories



The life course perspective in criminology acknowledges that as an individual moves through successive stages in life, a host of factors in various domains influence the individual's developmental and behavioral patterns. The criminological literature is also replete with research that suggests an individual's involvement in drug offending has negative repercussions in these domains of life. Further, specific drug offenses are thought to affect outcomes in differing ways. Drug offenders are far from a homogeneous group, and that heterogeneity can produce vastly different outcomes. From a life course perspective, adolescence then becomes a particularly important stage since this is the time when individuals exhibit the highest propensity for drug offending, and because the choices made in this stage impact the years to follow. This dissertation adopts a life course perspective to explore drug offending in adolescence and the consequences of such offending later in life. Using data from the Rochester Youth Development Study, factor analysis is employed to empirically develop patterns of adolescent drug offending. Those patterns are then used to predict life outcomes in the domains of employment, the family, and the criminal justice system in young and later adulthood. Results will provide a deeper understand of the divergent paths of drug-using adolescents, and the cascading implications of drug offending for the life course.

Included in

Criminology Commons