Youth Depression And Future Criminal Behavior

Submitted By mmcconn5
Words: 695
Pages: 3

Written Project: Youth Depression and Future Criminal Behavior
In the paper, Youth Depression and Future Criminal Behavior, for the National Bureau of Economic Research, D. Mark Anderson, Resul Cesur, and Erdal Tekin examined data from National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health to determine the effect of depression during adolescence on the probability of “engaging in a number of criminal behaviors later in life”. The data collected was from students in grades 7 to 12, in the 1994-95 school year, and then tracked them for the next 13 years. The researchers studied the long-term consequences of teenage depression and controls for: poverty, parenting style, school type, education level, employment, religion, marital status, and use of drugs, among many other factors. By using longitudinal data, they cover both adolescence and adulthood, and this is important because it has been shown that childhood depression has substantial continuity into adulthood. The researchers employ a series of “fixed effects estimators” to control “heterogeneity at neighborhood and family levels”. For example, by including “school fixed effects, the account for the possibility for adolescents who grow up in disadvantaged neighborhoods may be more likely to have poor mental health and engage in criminal behavior.” In addition, by including family fixed affects, they “control characteristics such as household poverty, parenting style and home environment,” therefore; the researcher’s estimates are more likely to be purged of sources of unobserved heterogeneity. The findings in this article have important implications for understanding potential implications for policies to improve outcomes for children and their families. “According to the U.S. Department of Justice, lay enforcement agencies recently made a total of 13.7 million arrests, of which 1.9 million were juveniles”. By fully assessing and understanding the short-term and long-term factors that cause these behaviors, we can design “sensible policies to reduce these numbers”. As a result of the research, Anderson, Cesur, and Tekin “find little evidence that adolescent depression predicts the likelihood of engaging in violent crime of the selling of illicit drugs”. However, their findings indicate that adolescents who suffer from depression face a substantially increased probability of engaging in property crime. Their “estimates imply that the lower bound economic cost of property crime associated with adolescent depression is about 219 million dollars per year”. The Washington Post reported an article titled, Study: Teen depression linked to higher property crime, but not violent crime, based off Anderson, Cesur, and Tekin’s NBER study. Although the news article is a short summary of the study, the article’s information is accurate in reporting the findings. The news article briefly expresses the main idea that adolescent depression is not statistically linked to violent crime later in life, though it is strongly related to higher property crime rates. In addition, the article also briefly expresses