Amber Beckley. Foto: Leila Zoubir/Stockholms universitet

Amber Beckley


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Arbetar vid Sociologiska institutionen
Besöksadress Universitetsvägen 10 B, plan 9
Rum B 846
Postadress Sociologiska institutionen, Demografiska avdelningen 106 91 Stockholm


I urval från Stockholms universitets publikationsdatabas
  • 2016. Amber L. Beckley (et al.). Journal of criminal justice 46, 64-81

    Purpose: To describe official adult-onset offenders, investigate their antisocial histories and test hypotheses about their origins. Methods: We defined adult-onset offenders among 931 Dunedin Study members followed to age 38, using criminal-court conviction records. Results: Official adult-onset offenders were 14% of men, and 32% of convicted men, but accounted for only 15% of convictions. As anticipated by developmental theories emphasizing early-life influences on crime, adult-onset offenders' histories of antisocial behavior spanned back to childhood. Relative to juvenile-offenders, during adolescence they had fewer delinquent peers and were more socially inhibited, which may have protected them from conviction. As anticipated by theories emphasizing the importance of situational influences on offending, adult onset offenders, relative to non-offenders, during adulthood more often had schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and alcohol-dependence, had weaker social bonds, anticipated fewer informal sanctions, and self-reported more offenses. Contrary to some expectations, adult-onset offenders did not have high IQ or high socioeconomic-status families protecting them from juvenile conviction. Conclusions: A tailored theory for adult-onset offenders is unwarranted because few people begin crime de novo as adults. Official adult-onset offenders fall on a continuum of crime and its correlates, between official non offenders and official juvenile-onset offenders. Existing theories can accommodate adult-onset offenders.

  • 2015. Terrie E. Moffitt, Amber Beckley. Criminology (Beverly Hills) 53 (1), 121-126

    In their original article, Burt and Simons (2014) argued that heritability studies should be abandoned because twin and adoption research is a fatally flawed paradigm. They pointed optimistically to epigenetics research as the way forward. In our view, both recommendations are hasty. This commentary will put forward two contrarian opinions. First, twin and adoption studies still have a lot to offer criminologists who seek the social causes of crime. Second, epigenetics research has very little to offer yet for criminologists who seek the social causes of crime.

  • 2015. Amber L. Beckley. Social Science Research 53, 239-251

    Past Swedish research has shown that immigrants arriving in the receiving country at an older age are less likely to commit crime than immigrants arriving at a younger age. Segmented assimilation theory argues that the family and neighborhood may be important factors affecting how age at immigration and crime are related to one another. This study used population-based register data on foreign-background males from Stockholm to test the effect of age at immigration on crime. Potential confounding from. the family and neighborhood was addressed using variables and modeling strategies. Initial results, using variables to control for confounding, showed that people who immigrated around age 4 were the most likely to be suspected of a crime. When controlling for unmeasured family characteristics, it seemed that a later age at immigration was tied to a lower likelihood of crime, which does not corroborate past research findings. The effect of age at immigration, however, was not statistically significant. The results imply that future research on entire families may be a worthwhile endeavor.

  • 2015. Amber L. Beckley. Race and Justice 5 (3), 278-300

    Immigration policies that attach citizenship and deportation consequences to crime may be aimed at deterring crime, but they also effectively marginalize immigrants and may promote crime. Evidence from Sweden and around the world indicates that, where citizenship is concerned, marginalization may have won out. This research used a population-based sample of approximately 20,000 Swedish males and more rigorous methods than past studies to test the effects of citizenship and region of origin on official police suspicion for a serious crime. The findings showed that a lack of citizenship is related to greater involvement in crime, indicating support for the marginalizing effects of immigration policies. Yet, the region of origin results presented a conflicting picture in which neither ideas on deterrence nor marginalization could be supported. In conclusion, neither the potential deterrent effects of immigration policy nor its marginalizing effects were strongly supported.

  • 2015. Amber Beckley (et al.).

    This doctoral thesis considers how factors from the home country, the family, and the individual impact the risk for criminal offending among young males from a foreign background residing in Stockholm. I use Swedish register data to examine the risk for police registered suspicion of criminal offending. The introductory chapter presents an historical overview of immigration in Sweden, theories of criminal offending, and details about analysis of register data. It is followed by three empirical studies that consider unique risk factors for crime among children of immigrants while controlling for factors encountered within Sweden. The first study shows that young male children of immigrants do not seem to be inherently violent as a result of coming from a war-torn country. The second study indicates that it is not the age at immigration, but the family situation that seems to dictate criminal propensity. The final study suggests that threats of deportation and stricter immigration policies do not seem to deter criminality. The most interesting result was probably that high home country human development was a protective factor against crime. This is the first known work to uncover such a result. Future theoretical development may be best aimed at unpacking and empirically evaluating the human development index as a risk factor. Together, these three studies suggest that some previously unconsidered uniquely immigrant factors are related to risk for criminality. 

  • 2014. Amber L. Beckley (et al.). International Journal of Epidemiology 43 (3), 835-842

    Background: Violent criminality is at least moderately heritable, but the mechanisms behind this remain largely unexplained. Height, a highly heritable trait, may be involved but no study has estimated the effect of height on crime while simultaneously accounting for important demographic, biological and other heritable confounders. Methods: We linked nationwide, longitudinal registers for 760 000 men who underwent mandatory military conscription from 1980 through 1992 in Sweden, to assess the association between height and being convicted of a violent crime. We used Cox proportional hazard modelling and controlled for three types of potential confounders: physical characteristics, childhood demographics and general cognitive ability (intelligence). Results: In unadjusted analyses, height had a moderate negative relationship to violent crime; the shortest of men were twice as likely to be convicted of a violent crime as the tallest. However, when simultaneously controlling for all measured confounders, height was weakly and positively related to violent crime. Intelligence had the individually strongest mitigating effect on the height-crime relationship. Conclusions: Although shorter stature was associated with increased risk of violent offending, our analyses strongly suggested that this relationship was explained by intelligence and other confounding factors. Hence, it is unlikely that height, a highly heritable physical characteristic, accounts for much of the unexplained heritability of violent criminality.

  • 2013. Amber L. Beckley. European Journal of Criminology 10 (4), 408-423

    This study uses Swedish register data to assess the impact of war in the home country on the individual likelihood of registered violent crime among young male immigrants in Stockholm, Sweden. War in the home country during a migrant’s residence is significantly related to a higher likelihood of registration for a violent crime. However, these results were not sustained in a sensitivity analysis, which considered serious property crime. Analysis of the history of war in the home country produces effects opposite to those predicted, with more years of war reducing the likelihood of violent crime. These findings indicate that war is capturing other factors, within the home or the receiving country, that may be related to violent crime.

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Senast uppdaterad: 16 januari 2018

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