Elaboration on Specialization in Crime: Disaggregating Age Cohort Effects

Shachar Yonai, Stephen Z. Levine, Joseph Glicksohn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To elaborate past research, this study examines the course of specialization and versatility with maturation and contends that specialization develops in a nonrandom manner, as suggested by the orthogenic principle of human development. To examine the development of specialization and versatility, forward specialization coefficients were disaggregated for three age cohorts over a 20-year follow-up period in a sample of high-risk youth (n = 3,652) with 54,175 arrests. Results show that forward specialization coefficients were generally of moderate magnitude and, across age cohorts, developed modestly in an age-graded manner for the youngest cohort. In conclusion, the results provide preliminary support for the orthogenic theory among early first-admission youth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)951-970
Number of pages20
JournalCrime and Delinquency
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • forward specialization coefficient
  • specialization
  • trends
  • versatility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Law


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