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NCJ Number: 163822 Find in a Library
Title: Drugs and Crime Connection and Offense Specialization: A Latent Variable Approach (From Criminological Controversies: A Methodological Primer, P 125-156, 1996, John Hagan, A R Gillis, and David Brownfield -- See NCJ-163816)
Author(s): D Brownfield
Date Published: 1996
Page Count: 32
Sponsoring Agency: Westview Press, Inc
Boulder, CO 80301
Sale Source: Westview Press, Inc
Marketing Director
5500 Central Avenue
Boulder, CO 80301
United States of America
Type: Issue Overview
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This chapter applies latent variable analysis as a technique to address the controversies of the drug-crime relationship and the issue of offense specialization.
Abstract: Latent variable analysis may allow researchers to take a somewhat different perspective on these controversies, and it may further help them to resolve some of the questions surrounding the debates. Latent variable analysis can help researchers to test whether a single general scale may be created to describe involvement in a variety of forms of illegal behavior. The chapter therefore focuses on the issue of how general involvement in deviance may be. It also examines to what extent there may be progressive involvement in either crime or drug use. Such analysis may facilitate a more systematic understanding of the causes and correlates of crime and avoid a fragmented or piecemeal approach. The findings of latent structure analysis suggest that involvement in drug use, theft, vandalism, and assault can be reasonably understood as manifest indicators of a single latent variable. The implications of such findings are significant for the debates over the causal relationship between drug use and crime and the issue of specialization among offenders. Consistent with most prior research, there is apparently little specialization among offenders and considerable diversity or variety in the types of crime committed. The construction of a single latent variable of deviant behavior also renders meaningless to a large degree the issue of the causal relationship between drug use and crime. 5 tables
Main Term(s): Drug law offenses
Index Term(s): Crime patterns; Drug Related Crime; Research methods
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