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Throughout more than forty years of research into the causes, treatment, and prevention of delinquency and criminality Sheldon and Eleanor Glueck have put particular emphasis on the central importance of a continuing study of their subjects. This work incorporates data presented in Unraveling Juvenile Delinquency (HUP, 1950) with new data collected in over twelve years of subsequent investigation exploring the lives, into young adulthood, of the delinquents and of the carefully matched control group of nondelinquents who were studied in the earlier work.
By comparing the information detailing the domestic relations, work histories, recreational activities, careers in the armed forces, and other aspects of life of the young adults of both the delinquent and control groups, the Gluecks raise fundamental theoretical issues concerning delinquency prevention and crime control. The authors’ research techniques are presented through an illustrative investigation, “The Case of Henry W.” The methods employed are designed to accumulate sufficient evidence to determine how the personalities and environmental backgrounds of law offenders relate to their behavior.