Violent onset offenders: Do initial experiences shape criminal career dimensions?

Paul Mazerolle, Alex R. Piquero, Robert Brame

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18 Citations (Scopus)


Research on criminal careers has increased in scope and sophistication over the past 15 years. One interesting aspect of criminal career research concerns the role of offending onset and whether it influences other criminal career dimensions. Although most prior research in this area has been concerned with the timing of offending onset, few studies have addressed whether the nature of initial offending shapes future criminal activity. The current study examines this issue for violence using data drawn from a sample of youthful offenders in Queensland, Australia. The key question addressed is whether offenders who onset with violence have distinct criminal career dimensions from offenders whose initial offending involves nonviolence. Specifically, the study examines whether violent onset offenders have more frequent, chronic, serious, and persistent criminal careers. Moreover, we explore whether this relationship is influenced by the timing of onset (early vs. late). Implications are discussed in light of current theories and research on criminal careers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)132-146
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Criminal Justice Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Australia
  • Longitudinal
  • Onset
  • Violence

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