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“It’s a rush”: Psychosocial content of antisocial decision making.

Modecki, K.L. (2009) “It’s a rush”: Psychosocial content of antisocial decision making. Law and Human Behavior, 33 (3). pp. 183-193.

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Changes in the juvenile justice system have led to more serious sanctioning of adolescents. A salient question for understanding whether such sanctions are appropriate pertains to whether adolescents are less mature than adults in making decisions that lead to antisocial activity. The current study codes for psychosocial content of antisocial decision making in adolescents (ages 12-17), young adults (18-23), and adults (35-63). Results suggest that adolescents and young adults display increased psychosocial content in their antisocial decision making relative to adults. However, the unique effect of psychosocial content on self-report criminal behavior was significantly greater among adolescents than among adults, whereas for young adults this was not the case. Implications for legal policy are discussed.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Publisher: American Psychological Association
Copyright: American Psychology-Law Society,
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