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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 91457 Find in a Library
Title: Causal Models of the Development of Law Abidance and Its Relationship to Psychosocial Factors and Drug Use (From Personality Theory, Moral Developments and Criminal Behavior, P 165-215, 1983, William S Laufer and James M Day, ed. - See NCJ-91449)
Author(s): G J Huba; P M Bentler
Date Published: 1983
Page Count: 51
Sponsoring Agency: Lexington Books
New York, NY 10022
Sale Source: Lexington Books
866 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10022
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study found that the general personality tendency toward law violations precedes patterned drug-taking or the development of peer and adult intimate support systems that espouse mildly deviant behaviors.
Abstract: This study used accumulated data from the 5-year University of California, Los Angeles Study of Adolescent Growth to test models for the development of traditional law abidance or, conversely, rebelliousness. Longitudinal data were analyzed with latent variable causal modeling techniques to develop and test models that explain patterns of general rebelliousness and their psychosocial causes and consequences. The most important models tested are those that simultaneously examine the influences of many factors on the changes in levels of rebelliousness. The models demonstrated the consistent effects of the personality tendency of law abidance of the social factors both within and across time. There were strong tendencies for frequent law violators to be heavily involved with their peers and to be friendly with peers and adults who use and support the use of a variety of drugs. The testing failed to find that the social factors had causal influences on a person's level of law abidance. Presumably, this means that by the time the study first measured the trait in early adolescence, the levels had become crystallized and not generally susceptible to change by social agents. Beyond specific findings, this study illustrates ways that latent-variable causal models can be used to test hypotheses in personality research that had previously been considered virtually impossible outside the laboratory. Tabular data and 28 references are provided. (Author summary modified)
Index Term(s): Drug abuse; Juvenile delinquency factors; Peer influences on behavior; Personality assessment
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=91457

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