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NCJ Number: 218986 Find in a Library
Title: Street Youth Crime: A Test of Control Balance Theory
Journal: Justice Quarterly  Volume:24  Issue:2  Dated:June 2007  Pages:335-355
Author(s): Stephen W. Baron; David R. Forde
Date Published: June 2007
Page Count: 21
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study explored the role control balance plays in the generation of youth crime, and tested whether youths sense of control over their poverty, shelter, hunger and other living conditions influenced their participation in crime.
Abstract: Results indicate that both control deficits and control surpluses were related to their violent and serious theft, and when deviant peers were available, these imbalances increased minor theft. It is reasonable to suggest that for those with deficits, there is a sense of desperation to ensure that control is not decreased even further. As control deficits become larger, there is less for street youth to lose by engaging in certain types of criminal behavior. The findings also suggest that more work is necessary to make clear where on the control desirability continuum the offenses examined here fit. They also imply that control imbalances may be better predictors of any probability of offending rather than predictors of the probability of offending. Utilizing a sample of 400 homeless street youth, this study set out to examine the role control balance ratios played in the generation of street youth crime. Using vignettes designed to represent violent crime, serious property crime, and minor property crime, the study tested whether these youths’ sense of control over their living conditions influenced their participation in crime. It also examined how perceptions of risk and thrill, as well as deviant values, self-control, deviant histories, and peer support impacted on crime. Tables, references, and appendixes A-E
Main Term(s): Juvenile delinquency factors
Index Term(s): Deviance; Homeless offenders; Juvenile delinquency; Juvenile delinquency research; Problem behavior; Socioeconomic causes of delinquency
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