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Juveniles as Offenders
Offender Self-reporting
Q: What are current findings of the 1997 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth?
A: The 1997 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY) indicates that the proportion of youth in the United States ages 12 to 16 engaging in deviant or delinquent behaviors varied significantly by age, sex, and race/ethnicity. Specific findings include:
  • Of all youth, 3% had carried a handgun in the month prior to the interview, and fewer than 1 in 200 had carried a handgun to school during that time.
  • With a few exceptions, urban and rural youth reported participation in problem behaviors in equal proportions; however, urban youth were significantly more likely than rural youth to have run away from home (12% vs. 10%), ever used marijuana (22% vs. 19%), or ever been arrested (9% vs. 6%).
  • Of all youth, 9% used marijuana in the last 30 days, and less than 4% used marijuana before or during school or work hours during this time. Similarly, 21% of all youth drank alcohol in the last 30 days, and 5% drank alcohol before or during school or work hours during this time.
  • The proportion of youth who had ever used marijuana increased dramatically with age, from 8% of youth ages 12 and 13 to 25% of youth ages 14 and 15. The proportion of youth ages 14 and 15 who had ever used alcohol (52%) was double that of youth ages 12 and 13 (26%).

Internet citation: OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book. Online. Available: http://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/offenders/qa03502.asp?qaDate=19990930. Released on September 30, 1999.

Adapted from Snyder, H. & Sickmund, M. Juvenile Offenders and Victims: 1999 National Report, p. 58–59. Washington, D.C.: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, 1999.

Data Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics. The National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997, version 1.0 [machine-readable data file]. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Labor, 1998.

 

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