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NCJ Number: 199253 Find in a Library
Title: How do Social Bonds Restrain Crime? A Study of the Mechanisms
Journal: Journal of Crime & Justice  Volume:25  Issue:2  Dated:2002  Pages:1-21
Author(s): Christopher J. Schreck
Editor(s): J. Mitchell Miller
Date Published: 2002
Page Count: 21
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article describes research on the role of social bonds in explaining delinquent behavior.
Abstract: The role of social bonds in explaining delinquent behavior, as described by Gottfredson and Hirschi in their general theory of crime, in 1990, are examined here. Their theory provides three competing explanations for this association: strong bonds may make crime too costly, self-control may render the influence of social bonds on delinquency ineffective, and social bonds may indirectly influence delinquency by affecting opportunities for crime. This author's research found that self control did render ineffective the direct influence of social ties on delinquency, and bonds with one's peers did lead to significantly higher levels of delinquency through activities. Tables provide information on sample demographic characteristics; standardized bivariate correlation, corrected for measurement error; standardized coefficients for structural parameters; and decomposition of standardized structural effects for social tie variables. In conclusion, a suggestion is made that if social sanctions matter, they must come from sources other than family, peers, or the school, since bonds do not significantly affect delinquency net of activities and self control. However, it is noted that this finding is dependent on direct tests being done that measure social sanctioning risks, as well as self control and lifestyles. Also, it is suggested that people who care about members of their peer group also tend to have more opportunity for crime, spending more time in unstructured and unsupervised settings. A bibliography is provided.
Main Term(s): Juvenile Delinquency prevention theory; Social bond theory
Index Term(s): Informal social control; Juvenile Delinquency prevention planning; Peer influences on behavior
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