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NCJ Number: 75260 Find in a Library
Title: Social Control and Delinquent Behavior - An Examination of the Elements of the Social Bond
Journal: Sociological Quarterly  Volume:21  Issue:4  Dated:(Autumn 1980)  Pages:529-544
Author(s): M D Krohn; J L Massey
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 16
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Hirschi's social bonding theory is viable, but it needs to be modified, according to this study of the overall and relative effects of the elements of the theory on four measures of deviance.
Abstract: This theory uses four elements of the social bond to explain why people conform: attachment to parents and peers, commitment (cost factor involved in engaging in deviant activities), involvement in conventional activities, and belief in conventional values. A self-report questionnaire was administered to 3,065 adolescents in grades 7 through 12 in 6 school districts in 3 midwestern States to examine the viability of the whole theory, its differential ability to explain a range of deviant behavior and its applicability for males and females. The study incorporated the concept of involvement into the concept of commitment. Moderate support for the theory was found in examining the overall explanatory power of the model for four deviant behavior scales ranging from status offenses to more serious offenses such as taking things worth $50 or more. The theory explained more of the variance for female deviance than for male deviance. However, the theory needs to be modified and expanded. For example, commitment to specific goals and involvement in religion should be examined along with the arenas of school and occupation, which have already been addressed. The findings also indicate that the bonding perspective offers a more powerful explanation of the less serious forms of deviance than of more serious forms of deviance. It is possible that the weakening of the bonds can be linked to incipient, and hence the less serious, deviant behaviors. Statistical data and over 44 references are included.
Index Term(s): Juvenile delinquency factors; Social control theory; Studies
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