Offending and early death in the Cambridge Study in Delinquent Development

Alex R. Piquero, David P. Farrington, Jonathan P. Shepherd, Katherine Auty

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34 Citations (Scopus)


Criminal offending has many negative outcomes. Researchers have recently begun to consider the impact offending has on offenders' health, with a few studies focusing on differential mortality risk. Yet, prior research has been limited due to selective samples, restricted range of follow-up time period, limited set of explanatory variables, and lack of theoretical guidance. This paper examines the risk of early death among 411 South London males in the Cambridge Study in Delinquent Development followed into their late 50s. Attention is paid not only to differential risk of death between nonoffenders and offenders, but also to the risk within the population of offenders and through consideration of theoretical frameworks and associated predictor variables. Results show that high-rate chronic offenders evince the highest risk of death, an effect that continues even after controlling for childhood individual and environmental risk factors as well as participation in a range of analogous behaviors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)445-472
Number of pages28
JournalJustice Quarterly
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • early death
  • health
  • longitudinal
  • offending
  • trajectories

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