Moffitt Revisited: Delinquent and Criminal Career Paths in the 1958 Philadelphia Birth Cohort
Danielle Marie Carkin1 & Paul E. Tracy

Since the emergence of Moffitt’s typology of criminal trajectories in 1993, considerable research has focused on whether distinct developmental, criminal paths exist and their value as a theoretical model. Moffitt’s typology, however, is based on very limited data, with a small, non-representative sample. Either of these aspects of Moffitt’s work and the many replications, could be responsible for the inconsistent results reported in the literature. This study used the data from 1958 Philadelphia Birth Cohort in an effort to replicate Moffitt’s work and extend the empirical results from the replications. The 1958 Birth Cohort is extremely large [27,160 cases, with 13,160 males and 14,000 females]. The data cover the entire criminal careers of the cohort, from onset, as early as age seven, up to the 27th birthday. This longitudinal cohort design permits the examination of offense onset, progression, escalation and desistance. Detailed offense data are available thus facilitating the testing of many of Moffitt’s assertions. We developed and tested four juvenile and adult career paths: nonoffender, limited, frequent, and chronic. Across the juvenile paths, age of first offense is significantly younger, average severity of the offense increases, as does the share of Sellin

Full Text: PDF DOI: 10.15640/jlcj.v3n1a2