The NSCR has a longstanding tradition in studying criminal careers. Research at the NSCR focuses on when (at what point in life) and why people start committing offenses. We study for example when a criminal career escalates, or, in contrast, when individuals desist from crime. Equally important is research that focuses on the factors that influence starting, continuing and quitting a criminal career. There are certain important life-events that seem to be able to prevent criminal careers from escalation, or may decrease the risk at least, for example: finding a job, a place to live, or ending up in a stable romantic relationship. Criminal behaviour itself may, of course, also have some serious consequences for life-course development.
Within the scope of this research group, we also focus particularly on family members of offenders, in order to study intergenerational transmission of criminal and antisocial behaviour. Growing up in a criminal family may increase the risk for children to develop a criminal career as well, but on the other hand, not all children end up being an offender. What are the explanations for this? We focus on potential explanations for intergenerational continuity as well as resilience in our work. We also try to apply existing theories on specific offender groups e.g. organized crime offenders, outlaw motorcycle gang members, domestic violence offenders, and to specific “new” types of crimes, such as cybercrime and terrorism/extremism.
In our work, we use varying research designs and methods, such as longitudinal survey data, and population or registration data (for example from the police). We use social network analyses to map the criminal networks of offenders over time, and we additionally combine quantitative methods with qualitative methods gained from interviews or file research.