skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 72116 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Investigating the Interrelations Among Social Control Variables and Conformity; Changing Attitudes Toward Capital Punishment; Schools and Delinquency
Author(s): J H Rankin
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 118
Sponsoring Agency: UMI Dissertation Services
Ann Arbor, MI 48106-1346
US Dept of Health, Education, and Welfare
Rockville, MD 20857
Grant Number: MH13327-02
Sale Source: UMI Dissertation Services
300 North Zeeb Road
P.O. Box 1346
Ann Arbor, MI 48106-1346
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Thesis/Dissertation
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This document contains studies on three topics: relationships among conformity and social control variables in adolescents, changing attitudes toward capital punishment, and schools and delinquency.
Abstract: The relationships between conforming behavior and four social control variables (conventional activities, attachment to school, attitude towards law, and delinquent friends) were studied using self-reported interviews with 385 students in Wayne County, Mich. Results indicated that the association between measures of inner containment and conforming behavior often vanishes when controlling for the number of delinquent companions. Data on violent crime rates and surveys conducted by the National Opinion Research Center showed a strong, positive, nonlinear relationship between public support for capital punishment and crime rates across regions of the U.S. Results indicated that general and increasing concern about crime, rather than personality characteristics and personal victimizations, produced a hardening of attitudes toward criminals and a greater demand for harsh penalties. In the third study, relations between certain school variables and delinquency were specified, using data from the 385 students, in order to test for the infractions predicted by strain theorists. Strain theorists emphasize the negative consequences of poor grades and low educational expectations for the adolescent's economic future. They also assert that educational expectations and academic performance affect boys more than girls and older adolescents more than younger adolescents. In contrast control theorists argue that immediate problems are more relevant to delinquency than is commitment to long-range goals. Although findings provided mixed support for both strain theory and control theory, they more clearly show a need for future research to show antecedent conditions' differential effects on adolescent subgroups. Illustrations, tables, an appendix presenting survey instruments, and a list of 98 references are included. (Author abstract modified)
Index Term(s): Capital punishment; Juvenile delinquency factors; Psychological theories; Public Attitudes/Opinion; Social control theory; Studies
Note: University of Arizona - doctoral dissertation
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.