Re-Examining of Moffitt’s Theory of Delinquency through Agent Based Modeling
Leaw, Jia Ning
Ang, Rebecca Pei-Hui
Huan, Vivien Swee Leng
Chan, Wei Teng
Cheong, Siew Ann
Date of Issue2015
School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences
Moffitt’s theory of delinquency suggests that at-risk youths can be divided into two groups, the adolescence- limited group and the life-course-persistent group, predetermined at a young age, and social interactions between these two groups become important during the adolescent years. We built an agent-based model based on the microscopic interactions Moffitt described: (i) a maturity gap that dictates (ii) the cost and reward of antisocial behavior, and (iii) agents imitating the antisocial behaviors of others more successful than themselves, to find indeed the two groups emerging in our simulations. Moreover, through an intervention simulation where we moved selected agents from one social network to another, we also found that the social network plays an important role in shaping the life course outcome.
© 2015 Leaw et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.