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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 229151 Find in a Library
Title: Social Structure-Social Learning and Delinquency: Mediation or Moderation?
Author(s): Stephen W. Verrill
Date Published: 2008
Page Count: 195
Sponsoring Agency: LFB Scholarly Publishing LLC
El Paso, TX 79913
Publication Number: ISBN 978-1-59332-241-0
Sale Source: LFB Scholarly Publishing LLC
Box 221258
El Paso, TX 79913
United States of America
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Book (Hardbound)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This book addresses what Akers (1998) identifies as the most underdeveloped component of social learning theory, i.e., how social structure (features of the broader social environment in which social learning occurs) either mediates and/or moderates social learning.
Abstract: The book develops a model in which social structure is viewed as influencing individual behavior by sets of reinforcement contingencies that are transmitted to the social learning process through meso-level groups. Social learning theory is a general theory that describes the learning process involved in an individual's history and opportunity for crime (Akers, 1998). This book contributes to the theoretical body of literature by providing a more complete measurement of the macrosocial correlates and theoretically defined structural causes of criminogenic social learning. Specifically, the research reported in this book measures race, poverty, and family disruption as three variables that Pratt and Cullen (2005) identified as "among the strongest and most stable predictors" of crime. Some researchers view these as indicators of a "concentrated disadvantage" construct. In addition, this book measures social disorganization theory variables in a manner similar to that used by Sampson and Groves (1989). Further, the book introduces possible linkages between social structure and the social learning process. In addition, the book critically examines Akers' (1998) theory that social learning mediates the relationship between social structure and crime, which introduces the possibility that social learning may instead moderate social structure's effect on crime and criminal behavior. This book's argument suggests that clarifying the distinction of mediation or moderation may help in understanding how social structure might influence the social learning process. It explores a theoretical argument that links social structure to social learning through the mechanisms of macrosocial reinforcement contingencies. Future research should distinguish macrosocial structures from meso-level groups most likely to have the most impact on the social learning process. Approximately 360 references and a subject index
Main Term(s): Juvenile delinquency factors
Index Term(s): Crime causes theory; Juvenile delinquency theory; Parent-Child Relations; Poverty and crime; Race-crime relationships; Social conditions; Social Learning
Note: From the series "Criminal Justice: Recent Scholarship."
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