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: 98150 Find in a Library
Title: Class Structure of Gender and Delinquency - Toward a Power-Control Theory of Common Delinquent Behavior
Journal: American Journal of Sociology  Volume:90  Issue:6  Dated:(May 1985)  Pages:1151-1178
Author(s): J Hagan; A R Gillis; J Simpson
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 28
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A neo-Marxian, class-based, power-control theory of the relationship between gender and delinquency was formulated and tested using survey data, gathered during the first 4 months of 1979, for 485 Toronto secondary school students and their parents.
Abstract: Respondents were located in class categories in terms of their control over means of production, control over work of others, and relation to labor power. Class categories included employers, managers, workers, and surplus population. Subjects were administered a self-reported delinquency measure and measures of parental control, taste for risk, and perceived sanction risk. As hypothesized, the relative power that derives from being male and situated in the employer class produced somewhat higher rates of common delinquency. Moreover, differences in parental control accounted for the higher delinquency of males in the employer class than in the managerial or working class. In all three of the higher classes males were more delinquent than females even when parental control was taken into account. For the surplus class, there was no evidence of a gender-delinquency relationship when parental control was taken into account. Overall, results confirm that freedom from parental controls has much to do with differences within and between classes in the effect of gender on delinquency. The taste for risk variable had significant effects on delinquent behavior in all four classes, while perceptions of sanction risk substantially reduced the effect of gender on delinquency only in the employer class. The assumption that the presence of power and absence of control create conditions for delinquency is shown by employer-class males being more delinquent than females and believing they are freer and less likely to be punished.
Index Term(s): Female sex roles; Juvenile delinquency; Juvenile delinquency factors; Juvenile delinquency research; Social control theory; Socioeconomic causes of delinquency
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.