Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: November 23, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412959193 | Print ISBN: 9781412959186 | Online ISBN: 9781412959193 | Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Philadelphia Birth Cohorts, The
Criminology is a field rich with explanatory theories and sophisticated empirical tests of research hypotheses drawn from these theories. In this deductive process of theory testing, theory precedes the observations of data. Equally important to understanding crime and criminal justice is the inductive analytical process, which begins with observations of data and concludes with theory as the outcome of the research. This is an iterative process that benefits from replication. The goal of inductive research is being able to make inferences about the data that can be generalized beyond the immediate subjects. In the inductive process of theory development in criminology, the Philadelphia Birth Cohorts have been among the most important bodies of data. These data have provided the foundation for understanding many key relationships of frequent or chronic offending and for understanding the transitions between adolescence and adulthood that involve crime and criminal justice interventions, such as the age ...