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Examining the Salience of Marriage to Offending for Black and Hispanic Men

NCJ Number
Date Published
July 2014
28 pages
This research extends prior work on the relationship between marriage and offending by assessing whether the benefits of marriage for criminal offending extend to today’s racial and ethnic minority populations.
Despite a considerable body of research demonstrating the beneficial effects of marriage for criminal desistance, data limitations have resulted in much of this work being based on predominantly white, male samples. In light of the rapidly changing demographic landscape of the US—and particularly the tremendous growth in the Hispanic population—the question of whether the benefits of marriage are generalizable to racial and ethnic minorities is an important one. The current study used a contemporary sample of 3,560 young adult Hispanic, Black, and White males, following them annually for 13 years that spanned the transition to adulthood. The study found that although marriage is a potent predictor of desistance for all groups, the benefits of marriage varied substantially across both race and ethnicity. (Publisher abstract modified)
Date Published: July 1, 2014