Universität Bielefeld

© Universität Bielefeld

Institute for
Interdisciplinary Research
on Conflict and Violence

Serial offenders during adolescence. Social backgrounds and future prospects.

Short Description
A small proportion of adolescents account for about half of all criminal acts committed by that group or attributed to it by state control organs, and for three quarters of serious violent crimes. The project relates to these serial offenders. The study is designed to allow a comparison with research conducted in the late 1980s and mid-1990s, creating the possibility to trace the proportions of single, multiple and serial offenders over a period of 20 years. On the basis of relevant sociological and adolescent development theories we will use a combination of qualitative and quantitative research methods to investigate the underlying factors that explain why certain adolescents repeatedly offend in a spectrum including even serious crimes of violence, and why they seek out opportunities and create situations to commit criminal acts. Research to date has failed in particular to clarify why certain individuals embark on "criminal careers" while others do not, and whether the conditions that are cited to explain persistence or non-persistence in adolescents of average delinquency are also decisive for adolescent serial offenders. Our leading hypothesis is that processes of disintegration and denial of individuation, recognition deficits on the part of those affected, and control losses on the part of socialization instances and semi-formal control organs form the decisive background context.
01.01.2011 - 31.12 2013
Herr Prof. Dr. W. Heitmeyer
Herr Dr. Reimund Anhut