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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 228930 Find in a Library
Title: Self-Control, Differential Association, and Gang Membership: A Theoretical and Empirical Extension of the Literature
Journal: Journal of Criminal Justice  Volume:37  Issue:5  Dated:September-October 2009  Pages:478-487
Author(s): Jason Kissner; David C. Pyrooz
Date Published: October 2009
Page Count: 10
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Netherlands
Annotation: Using data obtained from a sample of 200 jail inmates in a large California city, this study tested Gottfredson and Hirschi's contention that gangs are constellations of self-interested, untrustworthy, poorly self-controlled in dividuals who are not "tightly knit" with one another, such that they cannot be expected to exhibit strong friendship ties.
Abstract: Logistic regression models indicated that self-control exerted an effect on gang membership that was almost entirely independent of, but also modest in comparison to the effects of familial gang membership; parental gang membership was a more powerful predictor of gang membership than self-control. In addition, the possibility presented itself that at least some of the association between self-control and gang membership might be attributable to the covariation of self-control with association with gang members. Also, if the outcome variable of interest is gang membership, a more precise test of differential association theory might call for specific assessment of differential associations with those who have been, or are, gang-involved. In order to assist in addressing these shortcomings, differential association was measured with a range of items that tapped familial gang membership, as well as associations with best friends in gangs. Face-to-face interviews were conducted during a 6-week period between December 2005 and January 2006. Gang membership was assessed by using a self-nomination method. Self-control was measured with 11 items drawn from the Grasmick et al. (1993) scale with responses ranging from 1 (completely disagree) to 10 (completely agree). Other factors measured were familial gang membership and the stability of self-control over time. 3 tables, 6 notes, 59 references, and appended self-control items
Main Term(s): Gangs
Index Term(s): California; Gang member attitudes; Juvenile delinquency factors; Parental influence; Peer influences on behavior
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