Social control theory links being employed with reduced criminal behaviour. In particular, the indirect social control generated by the perceived benefits of the current job are expected to underlie the work-crime association. Features specific to the emerging adult period, however, call into question the strength of the work-crime association during this new life stage. This study uses data from the Utrecht Study of Adolescent Development (USAD), a longitudinal self-report study among 669 men and women aged 18 to 24 at the start of the study to examine the extent to which working a paid job is associated with reduced levels of delinquency and crime, and the extent to which this association is conditional on individual job perceptions. We also test for gender differences in these associations. Results indicate that for men but not for women - paid work is associated with lower levels of delinquency and crime, but only from age 24 onwards.
- emerging adulthood
- future prospects