Program of Research on the Causes and Correlates of Delinquency Series

The Program of Research on the Causes and Correlates of Delinquency was initiated by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) in 1986 in an effort to learn more about the root causes of juvenile delinquency and other problem behaviors. The program comprises three coordinated longitudinal studies: Denver Youth Survey, Pittsburgh Youth Study and Rochester Youth Development Study. The three Causes and Correlates projects used a similar research design. All of the projects were longitudinal investigations involving repeated contacts with youth during a substantial portion of their developmental years.

Researchers conducted regular face-to-face interviews with inner-city youth considered at high-risk for involvement in delinquency and drug abuse. Multiple perspectives on each child's development and behavior were obtained through interviews with the child's primary caretaker and, in two sites, school teachers. Administrative data from official agencies, including police, schools and social services was also collected.

The three research teams worked together to ensure that certain core measures were identical across the sites, including self-reported delinquency and drug use; community and neighborhood characteristics; youth, family and peer variables; and arrest and judicial processing histories.

NACJD is developing a resource guide on the Causes and Correlates of Delinquency Data. It will be available soon.