AGE DIFFERENCES IN DELINQUENCY: A TEST OF THEORY

RANDY L. LaGRANGE, HELENE RASKIN WHITE

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Abstract

This study tests an integrated theoretical model of delinquency on a representative sample of 341 male New Jersey adolescents. The model is a modified version of Hirschi's control theory that integrates, in part, cultural deviance theory. This study addresses two questions: (1) how well does the theory explain delinquency within different adolescent age groups? and (2) does the salience of individual components in the model differ from one age group to another? Path analysis indicates that parameter estimates vary substantially across age groups The influence of parents and the school peak considerably in midadolescence while the influence of delinquent companions is greatest among the oldest male group. The findings indicate that the processes related to delinquency change considerably as youths age through adolescence, thus implying that the issue of “age generalizability” warrants greater attention than presently given in delinquency theory and research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19-45
Number of pages27
JournalCriminology
Volume23
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1985

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Law

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