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The Edinburgh Study of Youth Transitions and Crime

Researchers: Professor Lesley McAra

By Nuffield Foundation

Project overview

The Edinburgh Study of Youth Transitions and Crime is programme of research that aims to address a range of fundamental questions about the causes of criminal and risky behaviours in young people. The core of the programme is a major longitudinal study of a single cohort of around 4,000 young people who started secondary school in Edinburgh in the autumn of 1998.

This grant was for seventh data collection of the project, when the young people were aged around 22. This phase tracked patterns of contact with the juvenile and adult criminal justice system from age 8 (age of criminal responsibility in Scotland) to 22, and assessed the impact of such contact on pathways out of criminal offending.

The data collection comprised a survey of 563 cohort members, supplemented by 30 in-depth interviews. Information was also collected from Scottish criminal records, social work and prison records.

The most recent news for the study can be found on the Edinburgh Study of Youth Transitions and Crime website.


  • Professor Lesley McAra
    University of Edinburgh

  • Ash Patel
    Programme Head, Justice
    Nuffield Foundation
  • Director, Justice
    Nuffield Foundation
By Nuffield Foundation

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We aim to improve people’s lives by funding research that informs social policy, primarily in Education, Welfare and Justice. We also fund student programmes that give young people skills and confidence in science and research.

We are an open, collaborative and engaged funder that offers more than money. Through connecting the individual projects we fund, we strengthen their collective impact and give voice to an overarching narrative.