Social support networks among delinquent youth: An 8-year follow-up study

Naomi A. Zwecker, Anna J. Harrison, Leah J. Welty, Linda A. Teplin, Karen M. Abram*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Supportive social networks are key to the successful transition to young adulthood. Yet, we know little about networks of delinquent youth, a population at risk for disrupted social connections. This study describes the structure and function of social support networks among delinquent youth eight years after detention, median age 24 years. Nearly one fifth of participants had no one that they could count on, and one third had only one person in their support network. Participants tended to have very dense networks composed almost entirely of family. Findings underscore the importance of expanding social supports for delinquent youth as they age.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)459-480
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Offender Rehabilitation
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 3 2018


  • Social support
  • delinquent youth
  • emerging adulthood
  • network characteristics
  • young adulthood

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Law

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