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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 99370 Find in a Library
Title: School Performance, Containment Theory, and Delinquent Behavior
Journal: Youth and Society  Volume:17  Issue:1  Dated:(September 1985)  Pages:69-95
Author(s): R Lawrence
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 27
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Data collected from 171 subjects (73 girls, 89 boys) in 4 high schools and 3 juvenile correctional programs in San Antonio, Tex., demonstrates that 50 percent of the variance in delinquent behavior can be explained by school performance and personality factors.
Abstract: The sample represented a cross section of students and correctional programs. The questionnaire used to assess school performance, participation in school activities, and self-reported delinquent behavior was adapted from the Elliot and Voss (1974) study on delinquency and dropouts. The High School Personality Questionnaire was used to measure variables which might contain misbehavior. Regression analysis of self-reported delinquency, school performance, and containment variables revealed significant correlations between school performance factors such as lower grades, more rule violations, truancy, and self-reported delinquency. Delinquents generally were more reserved and detached compared to the more outgoing nondelinquents. The delinquent group scored significantly lower on the intelligence scale. Delinquents were more touch-minded and self-sufficient than the more tender-minded and group-dependent nondelinquents. Thus, both school performance and personality factors served as containments against further misbehavior. Variables that explained 50 percent of the variance in delinquent behavior are examined. The study concludes that delinquent behavior is largely a result of failure in school, and that failure cannot be explained simply by lower ability of some students. Other issues addressed include schools' responses to deviance and strategies to reduce the school failure-delinquency problem. Tables, footnotes, and over 30 references are included.
Index Term(s): Juvenile delinquency factors; Juvenile Delinquency prevention theory; Juvenile Delinquent-nondelinquent comparisons; School influences on crime
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