Book Review: Shared beginnings, divergent lives: Delinquent boys to age 70 (by John H. Laub and Robert J. Sampson)

McGee, Tara R. (2005) Book Review: Shared beginnings, divergent lives: Delinquent boys to age 70 (by John H. Laub and Robert J. Sampson). Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology, 38(1), pp. 151-155.

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Laub and Sampson's latest offering breaks new ground in longitudinal criminological research and has been recognised with the 2003 Hindelang Award . Building on the Gluecks' data and their previous research (Sampson & Laub, 1993) they have followed a sample of men from an average age of 14 through to late adulthood (61–69 years). No other criminological research has followed a sample for this length of time. As the title suggests, one of the central arguments of the book is that not all children who start out in adverse social environments and exhibit an early onset of offending behaviour continue with persistent offending across the life-course.

This short review considers how Shared beginnings, divergent lives affects our understanding of offending across the life-course. Laub and Sampson's findings are discussed in the context social control theory and typological approaches. Also highlighted is the importance of turning points in understanding the desistence and persistence of offending. Firstly though discussion will turn to the major strength of the research: the data obtained by Laub and Sampson's follow-up of the Gluecks' delinquent boys from the 1940s.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 1374
Item Type: Review
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: desistence, persistence, life, course, offending, Glueck, Laub, Sampson, Shared Beginnings, Divergent Lives
ISSN: 0004-8658
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > CRIMINOLOGY (160200) > Criminology not elsewhere classified (160299)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Current > Schools > School of Justice
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2005 Australian Academic Press
Copyright Statement: Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Deposited On: 20 Apr 2007 00:00
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:31

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