The social dynamics of adolescent co-offending


Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

23 Downloads (Pure)


Aims: To explore the social dynamics of adolescent co-offending and decision-making processes among co-offenders; and to investigate co-offending roles in relation to the nature of a specific crime.
Method: The sample consisted of 15 young people who were purposively sampled from a group of 14 to 17-year-old males who had been identified as at risk of criminal group involvement and referred to a community-based programme. Using a social identity framework, a thematic analysis was undertaken to investigate how the participants viewed their role in co-offending as part of a criminal groups.

Findings: Participants identified their roles in criminal groups as instigators, followers, and group members. Planned crimes were either targeted or capitalised as part of other delinquent activities. Impulsive offending was opportunistic, impetuous, or reactive. Furthermore, a new theoretical model to explain the social dynamics of co-offending was developed and the implications for co-offending prevention and intervention programmes are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number00
Number of pages35
JournalYouth Justice
Early online date28 Nov 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Nov 2022


  • Keywords co-offending
  • crime planning
  • group influences
  • youth offending
  • qualitative research


Dive into the research topics of 'The social dynamics of adolescent co-offending'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this