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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 140204 Find in a Library
Title: Did the Devil Make Them Do It? An Examination of the Etiology of Satanism Among Juvenile Delinquents
Journal: Youth and Society  Volume:24  Issue:2  Dated:(December 1992)  Pages:204-227
Author(s): K R Damphousse; B M Crouch
Date Published: 1992
Page Count: 24
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study investigated two hypotheses associated with youth involvement in Satanism and related delinquency: that satanic involvement has an etiology in common with other youthful deviance; and that Satanism has a unique etiology, with Satanists having certain characteristics that differentiate them from individuals not involved in Satanism.
Abstract: Study data were collected over a 6-month period in 1989 at the Reception Center of the Texas Youth Commission (TYC) in Brownsville. The research design called for virtually every youth committed to the TYC during the 6 months to be interviewed. Five female interviewers were hired and trained who were regularly employed as high school teachers or counselors in the city of Brownwood. Of 890 youths in the sample (93 percent male), 75 reported at least some involvement in Satanism. Because of the large number of study variables and resulting missing values, however, data from only 530 cases were included in the study. The dependent study variable was involvement in Satanism, while independent variables included attachment to parents, attachment to education, attachment to peers, delinquent peers, and strain. Results showed that youths with low parental and educational attachment had a significantly higher probability of being involved in Satanism. At the same time, youths with high attachment to peers had a significantly higher probability of being involved in Satanism than those less attached to their peers. Having a high measure of strain also increased the probability of participating in Satanism, although not significantly. Having many actively delinquent peers did not increase the likelihood of involvement in Satanism. In fact, the significant coefficient was negative, suggesting that youths with fewer delinquent peers were more likely to become involved in Satanism. Findings showing significant positive relationships between Satanism and key social learning theory or common variables suggested that involvement in Satanism may not have an etiology in common with other forms of deviance. Support for unique explanations of satanic etiology was mixed. 41 references, 6 notes, and 3 tables
Main Term(s): Cults; Juvenile delinquency factors
Index Term(s): Male juvenile delinquents; Parent-Child Relations; Peer influences on behavior; Religion; Texas
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