Young Adult Frequently Asked Questions

Helpful Resources / Further Readings

Developmental differences

Albert, D., Chein, J., & Steinberg, L. (2013). The teenage brain: Peer influences on adolescent decision making. Current directions in psychological science22(2), 114-120 (Noting differences in brain development, risk perception, reasoning, social and emotional influences between teenagers and adults).

Arredondo, D. E. (2003). Child development, children’s mental health and the juvenile justice system: Principles for effective decision-making. Stanford Law & Policy Review, 14(1), 13-28 (Noting the neurobiological, psychological, social and moral development differences between adolescents and adults. Discusses best practices for managing justice involved youth).

Fareri, D. S., Martin, L. N., & Delgado, M. R. (2008). Reward-related processing in the human brain: developmental considerations. Development and Psychopathology (Noting the relationship between reward seeking behavior and brain development).

Gardner, M., & Steinberg, L. (2005). Peer influence on risk taking, risk preference, and risky decision making in adolescence and adulthood: An experimental study. Developmental Psychology, 41(4), 625-635. doi:10.1037/0012-1649.41.4.625 (Noting the risk taking and peer influence differences among adolescents, Young Adults, and adults).

Steinberg, L. (2007). Risk taking in adolescents: New perspectives from brain and behavioral science. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 16(2), 55-59. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8721.2007.00475. (Noting the developmental link to risk taking behavior).

Steinberg, L. (2008). A social neuroscience perspective on adolescent risk-taking. Developmental review28(1), 78-106 (Noting the psychosocial maturity and logical reasoning differences between youth upwards to persons 25 years of age).

Steinberg, L., & Cauffman, E. (1996). Maturity of judgment in adolescence: Psychosocial factors in adolescent decision making. Law and Human Behavior20(3), 249-272 (Noting the psychosocial factors of responsibility, temperance, and responsibility among developing adolescents).

Steinberg, L., Albert, D., Cauffman, E., Banich, M., Graham, S., & Woolard, J. (2008). Age differences in sensation seeking and impulsivity as indexed by behavior and self-report: Evidence for a dual systems model. Developmental Psychology, 44(6), 1764-1778. doi: 10.1037/a0012955 (Noting variations in sensation seeking behavior and impulsivity among persons ages 10 to 30).

Steinberg, L., Graham, S., O’Brien, L., Woolard, J., Cauffman, E., & Banich, M. (2009,II). Age differences in future orientation and delay discounting. Child Development, 80(1), 28-44 (Noting differences in impulse control and planning ahead among persons ages 10 to 30).

Sweeten, G., Piquero, A. R., & Steinberg, L. (2013). Age and the explanation of crime, revisited. Journal of youth and adolescence42(6), 921-938 (Noting the decline in criminal activity in relation to age and various developmental changes).

Tottenham, N., & Galván, A. (2016). Stress and the adolescent brain: amygdala-prefrontal cortex circuitry and ventral striatum as developmental targets. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews70, 217-227 (Noting the development of the human brain in relation to the environment and age).

Interventions and positive youth outcomes

Butts, Jeffrey A., Emily Pelletier, and Lila Kazemian (2018). Positive Outcomes: Strategies for Assessing the Progress of Youth Involved in the Justice System. New York, NY: Research and Evaluation Center, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York (Noting developmental differences between adults and youth, and the utilization of Positive Youth Development principles to inform effective interventions).

Butts, Jeffrey A (2014). Strengthening Youth Justice Practices with Developmental Knowledge and Principles. Annie Cassie Foundation. Baltimore, Maryland (Noting interventions during the transition between adolescence and adulthood).

Catalano, R.F., M.L. Berglund, H.S. Lonczak and J.D. Hawkins (2004). Positive youth development in the United States: Research findings on evaluations of positive youth development programs. The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 591(1): 98-124 (Noting effective Positive Youth Development programs in the U.S.

Cauffman, E., Fine, A., Mahler, A., & Simmons, C. (2018). How Developmental Science Influences Juvenile Justice Reform. UC Irvine L. Rev.8, 21 (Noting the developmental differences between adults and youth, and harms of solitary confinement).

Silbereisen, R.K. and R.M. Lerner, Editors (2007). Approaches to positive youth development. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications (Noting the use of Positive Youth Development.

Schiraldi, V. (2018). In Germany, It’s Hard to Find a Young Adult in Prison. The Crime Report (Noting the distinct treatment of YAs in Germany’s criminal justice system).

Housing YAs separate from adults 

Chammah, M. (2015). Prison Without Punishment. The Marshall Project (Noting the harms of solitary confinement). 

Cooley, D. (1993). Criminal victimization in male federal prisons. Canadian J. Criminology, 35, 479 (Noting that odds of being victimized are significantly high for male prisoners in their 20s, housed in higher security settings, and in the earlier portion of their imprisonment).

Crowley, M. (2017). How Connecticut Reimagines Prison for Young Men. Vera Institute of Justice (Noting the developmental differences in incarcerated persons 18 – 25 years old, the separate housing unit of this population at Conneticut’s Cheshire Correctional Institute, and programming offered).

Kerbs, J. J., & Jolley, J. M. (2007). Inmate-on-inmate victimization among older male prisoners. Crime & Delinquency53(2), 187-218 (Noting that older prisoners are victimized by younger prisoners, and older prisoners support being separated from younger prisoners when housed).

Lahm, K. F. (2009). Inmate assaults on prison staff: A multilevel examination of an overlooked form of prison violence. The Prison Journal89(2), 131-150 (Noting that inmate on staff assaults are often committed by persons ages 25 and under.

Wolff, N., Shi, J., & Siegel, J. (2009). Understanding physical victimization inside prisons: Factors that predict risk. Justice Quarterly26(3), 445-475 (Noting age as a predictor of victimization while incarcerated).