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NCJ Number: 66015 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: RECONCILING RACE AND CLASS DIFFERENCES IN SELF-REPORTED AND OFFICIAL ESTIMATES OF DELINQUENCY
Journal: AMERICAN SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW  Volume:45  Issue:1  Dated:(FEBRUARY 1980)  Pages:95-110
Author(s): D S ELLIOTT; S S AGETON
Corporate Author: American Sociological Review
United States of America
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 16
Sponsoring Agency: American Sociological Review
Albany, NY 12210
US Dept of Health, Education, and Welfare
Washington, DC 20203
US Dept of Justice
Washington, DC 20531
Grant Number: MH27552; 78-JN-AX-0003
Dataset: DATASET 1
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A NEW SELF-REPORTING INSTRUMENT WAS USED TO TEST WHETHER METHODOLOGICAL FACTORS EXPLAIN DIFFERENCES FOUND BETWEEN OTHER SELF-REPORTED DATA AND OFFICIAL DATA ON RACE AND CLASS DISTRIBUTION OF DELINQUENT BEHAVIOR.
Abstract: UNLIKE SELF-REPORT DATA, OFFICIAL ARREST DATA HAVE SHOWN DIFFERENCES IN DELIQUENT BEHAVIOR BY RACE AND CLASS. SELF-REPORTING HAS BEEN CRITICIZED FOR BEING UNRELIABLE. THE INSTRUMENT USED IN THE PRESENT STUDY ADDRESSED COMMON CRITICISMS OF SELF-REPORT MEASURES BY REPRESENTING THE FULL RANGE OF DELINQUENT ACTS, PROVIDING BETTER DISCRIMINATION AT THE HIGH END OF THE FREQUENCY CONTINUUM, PROVIDING A MODERATE RECALL PERIOD, CAPTURING SEASONAL VARIATIONS, AND PERMITTING DIRECT COMPARISON WITH OTHER SELF-REPORT AND OFFICIAL MEASURES. THE STUDY USED A NATIONAL PROBABILITY SAMPLE OF 1,726 YOUTHS AGED 11 TO 17. CRIMES WERE DIVIDED INTO FOUR MAIN TYPES: PREDATORY CRIMES AGAINST PERSONS, PREDATORY CRIMES AGAINST PROPERTY, ILLEGAL SERVICE, AND PUBLIC DISORDER. STUDY RESULTS SHOWED (1) SIGNIFICANT RACE DIFFERENCES FOR TOTAL DELINQUENCY AND FOR CRIMES AGAINST PROPERTY, (2) BLACKS REPORTED SIGNIFICANTLY HIGHER FREQUENCIES THAN WHITES ON BOTH MEASURES, (3) CLASS DIFFERENTIALS APPEARED FOR TOTAL DELINQUENCY AND FOR PREDATORY CRIMES AGAINST THE PERSON AND (4) YOUTH FROM LOWER SOCIOECONOMIC BACKGROUNDS HAD HIGHER SCORES THAN DID WORKING-CLASS OR MIDDLE-CLASS GROUPS. RESULTS SUGGEST A RELATIVELY HIGH INVOLVEMENT OF LOWER CLASS BLACK YOUTH IN SERIOUS OFFENSES AGAINST PERSONS. ALSO, THE FINDINGS IMPLY THAT CRITICISM OF MANY SELF-REPORT MEASURES IS WELL FOUNDED, GENERALIZATIONS BASED ON THESE MEASURES ARE MISLEADING, AND GENERAL SUMMARY MEASURES SHOULD BE INTERPRETED CAUTIOUSLY. FINDINGS INDICATE THAT PREVIOUS SELF-REPORT MEASURES ARE NOT AS SENSITIVE AS THE PRESENT INSTRUMENT FOR CAPTURING THEORETICALLY IMPORTANT DIFFERENCES. TABLES, FOOTNOTES, A REFERENCE LIST, AND AN APPENDIX PRESENTING THE STUDY INSTRUMENT ARE INCLUDED. (CFW)
Index Term(s): Crime rate studies; Juvenile arrest statistics; Juvenile delinquency factors; Juvenile Delinquent behavior; Minorities; Racial discrimination; Research design; Research methods; Self reported crimes; Social classes; Testing and measurement
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=66015

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