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Exploring Pathways to Desistance and Adjustment in Adulthood Among Juvenile Justice-Involved Females

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Congressional District
Past Project Period End Date
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2020, $817,514)

The proposed study is a longitudinal extension, which aims to further understanding of trajectories of adult offending. In this 2-year grant period, one in-person assessment will be conducted with each participant (Wave 13), when the participant is age 27-40 years (M = 18 years after each participants’ Wave 1 assessment), and system data from adult corrections will be collected, adding five additional years of adult justice system involvement data. First, the interview will assess constructs of parenting, partner characteristics, health-risking behaviors, mental health and trauma/victimization experiences, public system involvement, physical/biological health. New to this longitudinal extension is the inclusion of a robust battery of 12 biomarkers, which will be used to assess allostatic load, that is, the biological cost of chronic or repeated physiological reactions, which are used to mobilize the body when faced with stressful stimulus. “Wear and tear” associated with allostatic load include cardiovascular, metabolic, and immune system function. The administration of the battery of biomarkers has been successfully piloted, and this data collection will occur at the in-person interview. Second, official records from the adult corrections system will be collected, including cumulative adult arrest records, adding five years of official arrest records to the extant records data previously collected. Court records are coded so that they can be sorted by type according to the FBI Uniform Crime Reports. The number of arrests, whether each resulted in incarceration, and the length of incarceration, will be coded from the records.

The overarching goal of this study is to identify potential targets for subsequent intervention with female populations, with the goal of informing efforts to prevent sustained delinquency and multiple-systems involvement among females. The proposed study is uniquely poised to address limitations in the extant literature by advancing four specific aims: (1) To specify developmental trajectories of delinquency and crime from adolescence into adulthood among a sample of justice-involved females, and to understand how risk and protective factors influence these trajectories across time; (2) To examine the function of key turning points (i.e., intimate relationships and parenthood) in the persistence and/or desistance process for adult females; (3) To examine whether desistance or persistence in delinquency and crime predict biological and self-reported health outcomes; and (4) To examine the long-term effects of the Treatment Foster Care Oregon intervention on adult offending and crime, and biological and self-reported health, including indicators of endocrine, cardiovascular, and metabolic health through an index of allostatic load.
Note: This project contains a research and/or development component, as defined in applicable law, and complies with Part 200 Uniform Requirements - 2 CFR 200.210(a)(14). CA/NCF

Date Created: September 16, 2020