Adolescence is a vulnerable period of individual development when decision-making is easily compromised, and criminal involvement reaches its peak. We draw on and extend novel decision-making perspectives and use the first two waves of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (N = 13,399) to analyze whether factors representing adverse physical conditions, negative mental states, and stressful social circumstances condition the effect of thoughtfully reflective decision-making (TRDM) on adolescent delinquent behavior. We find that experiencing various “hot triggers” such as sleep problems, depression, and straining conditions significantly reduces the crime-preventive impact of TRDM (an example of cool processing) among adolescents. We outline potential avenues for further theoretical development of integrated frameworks of decision-making and crime and discuss policy implications aimed at ways to deal with the adverse social, emotional, and physical triggers and foster thoughtful decision-making skills among adolescents.
- crime and delinquency
- hot/cool processing
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine