Adolescents who view the justice system negatively are prone to commit crime. Simultaneously, youth who have difficulty regulating their behavior are likely to commit crime. Using a longitudinal sample of 1,216 male adolescents (ages 13–17) who had been arrested for the first time, were racially/ethnically diverse, and were drawn from three U.S. states, this study incorporated a developmental perspective into the procedural justice framework to examine whether psychosocial immaturity moderated the effect of justice system attitudes on youth crime. Attitudes toward the justice system were associated with reoffending among psychosocially mature youth, but not among psychosocially immature youth. This developmental perspective indicates that psychosocially immature youth who have difficulty regulating their behavior may be at risk of engaging in crime regardless of how they perceive the justice system.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Developmental and Educational Psychology