Early mortality is significantly more common among offenders compared to non-offenders but less is known about the specific mechanisms that increase this risk. To address this gap, Tremblay and Paré (2003) specified three pathways to early mortality in offender populations. The general-hazard model suggests that early mortality is driven by low self-control. The occupational-hazard model attributes early mortality to the hazards directly associated with offending. The strain-hazard model emphasizes the prevalence of self-inflicted deaths resulting from differential exposure to strain. Using self-report, official, and social network data from the Incarcerated Serious and Violent Young Offender Study, the current study operationalized and tested these models. Findings from multinomial logistic regression analyses showed no support for the general-hazard model but identified several predictors of early mortality across the strain-hazard and occupational-hazard models, including negative self-identity, parental dysfunction, and youth offending. Social network findings showed partial support for the occupational-hazard model. Specifically, the accumulation of criminal social capital may protect against early mortality outcomes. Recommendations for policy and practice are made with reference to these findings.
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Thesis advisor: McCuish, Evan
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