Making sense of crime and the life course

D. Wayne Osgood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


This article reflects on the progress of research on developmental and life-course criminology, comments on the status of some unresolved issues, and offers recommendations for the future. The first sections relate these articles and the current status of the field to two themes from the criminal careers debate of the 1980s and 1990s: generalization versus disaggregation as approaches to advancing science and continuous versus categorical conceptions of variation in criminal careers. The article also discusses the use of the growth curve models that are so prominent in developmental and life-span research, emphasizing the aspects of change that they do and do not capture, pointing out implications of that limitation for the need for expanding theories and models of change, and explaining the simple steps needed to enhance growth curve models to accomplish that purpose.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)196-211
Number of pages16
JournalAnnals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science
StatePublished - Nov 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • General Social Sciences


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