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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 98841 Find in a Library
Title: Predictors of Status and Criminal Offences Among Male and Female Adolescents in an Ontario Community
Journal: Canadian Journal of Criminology  Volume:27  Issue:2  Dated:(April 1985)  Pages:147-159
Author(s): I M Gomme
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 13
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Canada
Annotation: In this exploration of the causal structures of male and female delinquency, the relative contributions of salient variables from differential association, social control, and strain theories were assessed in an anonymous survey (1978) for 429 Canadian students in grades 7 to 10.
Abstract: Delinquency was measured by a scale designed to tap a variety of dimensions of deviant behavior, including both status and criminal offenses. Additional variables included delinquent associations, belief in the law, school performance, age, and socioeconomic status (SES). While peer associations appeared important for both males and females, differential association with delinquent peers was a stronger predictor of female than of male behavior. Belief in the law and its enforcement agents reduced involvement in both status and criminal offenses for both sexes, but the effects of this predictor for all delinquency subdimensions, except drug offenses, were consistently greater for males than females. For females, the relationship between school performance and all types of delinquency was nonexistent, while for males, lower academic performance prefigured greater involvement in both status and criminal offenses. No direct causal relationship was found between SES and delinquent behavior. Age was a significant predictor of status offenses but not criminal offenses, particularly for boys. Commission of status offenses increased with age. Overall, the most powerful predictor of delinquent behavior for boys was attitude toward the law and its enforcement agents, while association with delinquent peers best predicted female behavior. More of the variance in deviant behavior of males is explained by the three theories, suggesting a a sex bias in current sociological theories. Tabular data and 63 references are provided.
Index Term(s): Adolescent attitudes; Age group comparisons; Attitudes toward authority; Juvenile delinquency factors; Juvenile delinquency research; Juvenile delinquency theory; Juvenile educational background; Male female offender comparisons; Ontario; Peer influences on behavior; Social control
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