Research has shown that marital status and employment are correlates of desistance. That is, adolescents involved with crime were more likely to discontinue offending in adulthood if they were married and had a good job. Most of what criminologists know about the process of desistance from crime is based on a sample of adult males in the 1950's. There is no question that life in America has changed drastically in the past fifty years. Given the importance of examining historical change inherent in the life course perspective, it is important to determine how changes in the social structure over time impact individuals. Therefore, the goals of this data analysis exercise are to examine changes in marriage and employment over the last fifty years. The purposes are to identify the changes that have taken place, and to hypothesize how these changes may affect the process of desistance from crime today.
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