Edinburgh Study of Youth Transitions and Crime: Waves One to Four, 1997-2001

  • David Smith (Depositor)



Since the end of the second world war, police recorded crime has risen dramatically in both England and Wales and, to a lesser extent, Scotland. Crime surveys have revealed a less dramatic increase in crime in England and Wales (Mirrlees-Black et al, 1996), and little if any in Scotland (MVA, 1998), and suggest that increases in police recorded crime figures are largely due to an increased propensity for the public to report crime. There is evidence to suggest, however, that there has been a real increase in problem behaviour among young people, paralleled by postwar increases in other psychosocial disorders during the teenage years (Smith and Rutter, 1995). In addition, evidence consistently suggests that the rate of offending among males is higher than that among females, although the gap is starting to narrow.

The Edinburgh Study of Youth Transitions and Crime (ESYTC) aims to further our understanding of young people's involvement in criminal behaviour, and explore the striking differences in offending rates and anti-social behaviour between males and females. It is a longitudinal study involving an entire year group of children, namely those eligible to start first year of secondary school in the City of Edinburgh in 1998. The cohort comprises approximately 4,300 young people who were aged between 11.5 and 12.5 years at the start of the study. Annual sweeps of data collection are conducted, with the intention of tracking the cohort through their teenage years and into early adulthood. The UK Data Archive currently holds data from Waves One to Four.

While the study focuses entirely on criminal offending among a generation of young people within the City of Edinburgh, the findings are likely to be of wider national and international relevance and importance. National comparisons will be made with other related studies in Scotland and the rest of the UK (such as crime surveys, health and drug studies, etc). The international dimension will be developed through direct comparisons with cohort studies in Denver, Pittsburgh and Rochester, and links with other studies in Chicago, Philadelphia, Dunedin and Stockholm.

Data Citation

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Date made available19 Apr 2004
PublisherUK Data Service
Temporal coverage1997 - 2001

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