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The Age and Crime Relationship: Social Variation, Social Explanations
The age and crime relationship: Social variation, social explanations
Jeffery T.UlmerThe Pennsylvania State University
DarrellSteffensmeierThe Pennsylvania State University

The relationship between aging and criminal activity has been noted since the beginnings of criminology. For example, Adolphe Quetelet (1831/1984) found that the proportion of the population involved in crime tends to peak in adolescence or early adulthood and then decline with age. In contemporary times, the FBI's Uniform Crime Report (UCR) arrest data (1935–1997), particularly the Crime Index (homicide, robbery, rape, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny-theft, auto theft), document the consistency of the age effect on crime. They also reveal a long-term trend toward younger age-crime distributions in more modern times. Today, the peak age-crime involvement (the age group with the ...

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