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NCJ Number: 82637 Find in a Library
Title: Further Contributions From the Giessen Surveys on Delinquency
Journal: Monatsschrift fuer Kriminologie und Strafrechtsreform  Volume:63  Issue:6  Dated:(December 1980)  Pages:385-396
Author(s): A Kreuzer
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 12
Format: Article
Language: German
Country: West Germany (Former)
Annotation: Although self-report surveys provide some insight into the field of unreported crimes, they have methodological drawbacks that preclude generalizations about the extent of unknown crime or its distribution among the social strata.
Abstract: While studies in England and America continue to use the self-report survey technique, significant West German research of this type was done in the early 1970's and has since become less frequent. Shortcomings of the method are the impossibility of tapping a large enough sample to obtain meaningful data on serious crimes and the difficulty of reaching older potential offenders and members of various subgroups (ex-offenders, foreigners) for survey purposes. Self-reports have best served to reveal juvenile involvement in petty crime forms and incidental drug use, which constitute but a small fraction of the totality of unreported crimes and yield no insight into the seriousness of these crimes. A self-report survey was conducted with 727 West German military recruits in 1978. The questionnaire tapped drug use and other delinquent acts, victimization and crime reporting experiences, and opinions on criminal justice issues. An attempt was made to differentiate social class by grouping respondents according to the three educational levels of the West German public school system. While those with high school education reported more free rides on public transportation and thefts within the immediate personnel environment, those with lower levels of schooling reported involvement in more serious forms of delinquency. These results are in general agreement with earlier self-report studies of high school and college students. Tables compare results of three major West German self-report surveys. An extensive bibliography is provided.
Index Term(s): Germany; Self reported crimes; Unreported crimes
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