Desistance in College Students

Faculty Sponsor

Lissa Yogan


Arts and Sciences



Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Symposium Date

Spring 5-4-2017


Many forms of minor criminal behavior are known to be more commonly engaged in by young people. As individuals grow older, they become less likely to engage in those minor crimes. To better understand this desistance from crime, it is necessary to understand how major life events, which individuals experience as they mature, impact their involvement with illegal activity. Attendance at college is a life event which may affect young people’s involvement with crime, and it may be one of great importance in an era when college enrollment is so common. This research, by way of a survey administered to a sample of current undergraduate students at a small, private Midwestern university, aims to determine if attending college delays desistance from minor crime among young people, as is hypothesized in the study. Considerations are made for the effects of peer influences and student's own perceptions of their level of maturity as potential contributing factors to delayed desistance, while previous experiences with the criminal justice system and religiosity are also considered as factors which might promote desistance.

Biographical Information about Author(s)

Alonzo Skinner is a junior criminology major from Earl Park, IN. He is interested in ultimately uncovering ways in which desistance from crime might be promoted by institutions such as colleges and universities, and he hopes with this study to generate interest in further research into the specific mechanisms of how and why desistance occurs.

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