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NCJ Number: 222284 Find in a Library
Title: Self-Control, Social Factors, and Delinquency: A Test of the General Theory of Crime Among Adolescents in Hong Kong
Journal: Journal of Youth and Adolescence  Volume:37  Issue:4  Dated:April 2008  Pages:412-430
Author(s): Nicole W.T. Cheung; Yuet W. Cheung
Date Published: April 2008
Page Count: 19
Sponsoring Agency: Research Grants Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
Hong Kong SAR,
Grant Number: CUHK4331/01H
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study tested the predictive power for delinquency of self-control theory among a sample of 1,015 Chinese secondary- school students (463 boys and 552 girls) in Hong Kong; and it examined whether social-bonding theory, differential-association theory, general-strain theory, and labeling theory explained effects on delinquency in the presence of self-control.
Abstract: The study found that low self-control by itself predicted various forms of delinquent behaviors for Chinese adolescents in Hong Kong. Self-control's links with the social conditions defined under the theories of social bonds, differential association, strain, and labeling were in accordance with the expected directions. Adolescents who lacked self-control were more likely to have weak social bonds, delinquent friends, definitions favorable to deviance, and to experience strain. The latter was related to educational underachievment, coercive parenting, negative school experiences, adverse relations with peers, and stressful life events. Adolescents with low self-control were also more likely to be labeled negatively by parents and teachers. Contrary to self-control theory and many previous studies based on Western samples of youth, however, self-control failed to predict delinquency when social variables were controlled for among this sample of Chinese adolescents. This suggests that it is the combination of self-control and social factors in the prediction of delinquency that might vary across cultures. Thus, the findings only partially support the culture-free thesis of self-control theory. The study also found that influence of Chinese cultural factors on self-control among youth merit closer attention. Data collection was conducted from May to June 2002. Self-report questionnaires administered to students in their classrooms measured five sets of independent variables (self-control, social bonds, differential association, strain, and labeling). Delinquency, the dependent variable, was measured by self-reports on the commission of 11 delinquent acts during the previous 12 months. 7 tables and 61 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile delinquency theory
Index Term(s): Criminology theory evaluation; Cultural influences; Foreign criminal justice research; Hong Kong; Labeling theory; Social bond theory; Social control theory; Strain theory
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