Volwassen worden en criminaliteit: Verschillen tussen etnische groepen

Jessica Hill, Arjan A.J. Blokland, Victor van der Geest

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The relationship between age and criminal behaviour is one of the most robust findings in criminology. According to Moffitt’s developmental taxonomy the bell-shape of the age-crime curve is due to a large number of adolescent-limited offenders. These adolescents engage in delinquent behaviour during ado- lescence in response to the maturity gap, whereby they feel adult but do not have access to legitimate adult social roles. Despite the universal peak in delinquent behaviour during adolescence, the rate of decrease in delinquent behaviour seen during adulthood differs for different ethnic groups within the Netherlands. The aggregate age-crime curve for Dutch-Moroccans drops off more sharply during early adulthood than for native Dutch, whereas the curve for the Caribbean Dutch remains higher throug- hout the early adult years (Jennissen, 2009). The present study examines whether a differential effect of spending time in adult roles and feeling adult can explain these discrepancies. We use data from the TransAM study, a longitudinal project with a sample aged 18-24 years and an overrepresentation of Dutch-Moroccans, Caribbean Dutch and individuals with police contacts during adolescence. Results of the fixed-effects models examining the effect of within-person changes in time spent in adult roles on delinquency and feelings of adultness indicate that both spending time in adult roles and feeling more adult have a strong desistance effect for Dutch-Moroccans, but show no desistance effect for Caribbean Dutch. Results for native Dutch indicate that spending time in adult roles has a desistance effect, but when spending time in these roles occurs in combination with feeling more adult delinquent behaviour actually increases.
Original languageDutch
Pages (from-to)449-469
Number of pages21
Issue number5
Early online date5 Oct 2015
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2016

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