Military service and offending behaviors of emerging adults: A conceptual review

Christopher Salvatore, Travis Taniguchi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Focusing on the United States, this paper examines the impact of military service for the cohort of individuals that have experienced the social factors that characterize emerging adulthood as a unique stage in the life course. We argue that military service, as a turning point, may act differently in contemporary times compared to findings from past research. This difference is driven by changes in military service, the draft versus volunteer military service, and the prevalence of emerging adulthood. As a background, we describe emerging adulthood, examine how emerging adulthood relates to crime and deviance, explore the impact of military life on young adults, provide an overview of the demographics of military service, discuss the influence and outcomes of military life on young adults, and explore existing research linking military service and deviant and criminal behavior. We develop a theoretical model of the relationship between military service and emerging adulthood and explore the impact on criminological theory and policy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number49
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalSocial Sciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2021


  • Crime
  • Deviance
  • Emerging adulthood
  • Military service
  • Social bonds
  • Turning points
  • Youth crime


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