This chapter addresses three contextual influences on the onset, continuation, or escalation of offending during the transition from adolescence to adulthood. First the chapter examines four individual life circumstances that typically undergo dramatic change during the transition to adulthood—romantic relationships and marriage, parenthood, employment and leisure activities, reviewing what is known about their impact on the continuity or discontinuity in offending. Second the chapter addresses the situational factors surrounding specific criminal events, including crime places, asking how they change with the transition to adulthood and how their influences may be moderated by age. Finally the chapter turns to the broad context of neighborhood and community, examining how they set the stage for the transition to adulthood and how they may moderate the effects of individual life circumstances, either facilitating or impeding the successful transition to adult roles that can lead to desistance from crime. For each of the three contextual influences, the chapter provides a review of the current literature and recommendations for productive directions for future research.
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