A Brighter Future: Understanding Desistance in Young Irish Men

Brianna Connaughton

    Research output: Types of ThesisMaster's Thesis

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    The purpose of this research is to understand the factors which led to desistance in young men from the South East of Ireland, who were involved in offending between the ages of 12-18. The participants of this study will be those who desisted from crime prior to any involvement in the formal judicial and penal systems and they will be aged between 18 and 23 at the time of engaging in the study. An extensive review of the literature was carried out. Through conducting this literature review it became evident that desistance studies in Ireland have been limited to the experience of older adults and those who have been incarcerated. This research aims to respond to this gap identified in the research. The hypothesis of this research is that if we better understand the elements which lead to the desistance of offending in young men then we can better support them and/or other young people in similar circumstances, to maintain their desistance in the long term. The epistemological stance of the researcher and the study is based on the constructivist paradigm. This study was carried out using a Descriptive, Cross-sectional Correlational research design. Primary qualitative data was gathered using semi structured interviews. Participants for the study were selected using Non-Probability Convenience Sampling Design. The data was then analysed using NVivo 10 and the findings and recommendations are discussed on the back of this analysis. The results of this study show that there are a lot of similarities between the experiences of the participants during their teen years. There is a commonality in how they perceived their communities, in how they felt about education and in the types of offending that they were involved in. Through analysing this data, common trends in terms of the factors which the participants feel leads to desistance were also evident such as increased levels of empathy, changing peer groups and spending more time outside of their community.
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • Van Dokkum, Neil, Supervisor
    Publication statusUnpublished - 2016


    • Desistance


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