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NCJ Number: 201528 Find in a Library
Title: Test of Gottfredson and Hirschi's General Theory Using Structural Equation Modeling
Journal: Criminal Justice and Behavior  Volume:30  Issue:4  Dated:August 2003  Pages:441-458
Author(s): John J. Gibbs; Dennis Giever; George E. Higgins
Date Published: August 2003
Page Count: 18
Type: Research (Theoretical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study uses structural equation modeling (SEM) to test Gottfredson and Hirschi’s general theory of crime.
Abstract: In 1990, Gottfredson and Hirschi posited in their general theory of crime that deviance or criminal behavior is influenced by self-control, which is in turn influenced by parental management practices. Crime, therefore, is a result of the opportunity to commit a crime coupled with a lack of self-control. The authors administered a 129-item questionnaire to 422 university students enrolled in introductory courses. The questionnaire contained 40 items measuring parental management, 40 items measuring self-control, and 19 items measuring deviance. Both the measurement and the conceptual models of the general theory of crime were tested using SEM. Results indicated support for Gottfredson and Hirschi’s general theory of crime; the structural model hypothesized to be the best fit showed that parental management indirectly influences deviance, with the relationship mediated by self-control. The authors qualify the study by noting its limitations; in order to use SEM, parcels of items were randomly assigned from the unidimensional scales as observed variables. Future research should consider testing Gottfredson and Hirschi’s theory along side other criminology theories. Tables, notes, references
Main Term(s): Criminology theory evaluation
Index Term(s): Criminology; Research methods
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