Maturity in adolescent and young adult offenders: the role of cognitive control

Anne-Marie R Iselin, Jamie DeCoster, Randall T Salekin
Law and Human Behavior 2009, 33 (6): 455-69
This study examined the role of cognitive control in explaining the psychosocial maturity of adolescent (n = 43) and young adult male (n = 40) offenders. We separated psychosocial maturity into prosocial and criminal components, which were statistically unrelated and were explained by different variables. Individuals with higher levels of prosocial maturity were older, had better proactive cognitive control, and had better short-term memory than those with lower levels of prosocial maturity. Individuals with higher levels of criminal maturity were older and had better reactive cognitive control than those with lower levels of criminal maturity. We discuss the implications of these findings with regard to juvenile justice policy and practice.

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