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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 76433 Find in a Library
Title: Comparative Study of Youth Culture and Delinquency - Upper Middle-class Canadian and Swiss Boys (From Readings in Comparative Criminology, P 56-77, 1981, Louise I Shelley, ed. - See NCJ-76431)
Author(s): E W Vaz; J Casparis
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 22
Sponsoring Agency: Southern Illinois University Press
Carbondale, IL 62901
Sale Source: Southern Illinois University Press
Box 3697
Carbondale, IL 62901
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This cross-cultural study explores delinquency, peer/parent orientation, attitudes, values, and participation in legitimate peer-oriented activities among Canadian and Swiss middle-class male juveniles.
Abstract: Data were collected through anonymous questionnaires which were administered in 1963 to 1,639 white Canadian high school boys aged 13 to 19 years and to 514 Swiss boys of the same age group in 1966. One important difference between the groups, which might account for some of the differences in the Swiss and Canadian responses, was that the Swiss sample population came from a more rural 'traditional' area, while the Canadian boys were largely suburban residents from different sized urban and semiurban communities. The statistical analysis of the material suggests that Swiss boys are considerably less peer oriented than are Canadian youth, and they engage in less leisure-oriented activity behavior which minimally requires relaxed parental controls. In keeping with the slower institutional change taking place in the Swiss region, these findings argue against the presence of a widespread, firmly structured youth culture. The attitudes of these boys toward selected situation-type items reveal marked differences, Swiss boys being less 'permissive' toward heterosexual, fun-oriented activities. The findings on self-reported delinquent acts confirm this trend. 'Sociable' delinqencies, such as staying out all night without parental permission are more typical of Canadian than Swiss boys. Although petty theft is prevalent in both groups, the more masculine, perhaps aggressive acts, such as fist fighting and vandalism, loom large among older Swiss boys. Serious theft and being placed on school probation are also more common among Swiss than Canadian juveniles, although for the latter offense the difference is almost negligible among boys reporting the act repeatedly. The article is supported by statistical tables.
Index Term(s): Adolescent attitudes; Canada; Comparative analysis; Cultural influences; Juvenile delinquency factors; Male juvenile delinquents; Middle class juvenile delinquents; Switzerland; Youth development
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