Adult Recidivism in United States: A Meta-Analysis 1994–2015

Antonis Katsiyannis, Denise K. Whitford, Dake Zhang, Nicholas A. Gage

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


In 2014, adult correctional systems supervised an estimated 6.8 million individuals in the United States with 1 in 36 adults (or 2.8%) being under some form of correctional supervision. Unfortunately, not only are the number of individuals connected to the correctional system and the outlined disparities based on minority status worrisome, there is also the persistent concern of repeat offending. Given the fact that the most recent comprehensive meta-analysis examining predictors of adult offender was published in 1996, a current systematic review and meta-analysis focusing on United States samples of all types of re-offense is necessary for identifying current predictors of adult recidivism with U.S. studies from 1994 through 2015. Specifically, the questions addressed in this meta-analysis include (a) which attributes predict general, sexual, and violent recidivism for adults in the American justice system, and (b) are some characteristics more influential than others? We determined the following domains are statistically significant predictors of recidivism: age (r =.02), antisocial personality scales (r =.13), criminogenic needs (r =.10), distress (r =.06), family criminality (r =.18), family rearing (r =.16), gender (r =.19), history of antisocial behavior (r =.12), risk scales (r =.17), social achievement (r =.05), and substance abuse (r =.07). Implications are provided.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)686-696
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Child and Family Studies
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


  • Adult
  • Criminality
  • Meta-analysis
  • Recidivism

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