The Nonlinear Effects of Parental and Teacher Attachment on Delinquency: Disentangling Strain from Social Control Explanations
Justice Quarterly, Vol. 21, No. 4, 2004
29 Pages Posted: 25 Oct 2015
Date Written: 2004
Social control and general strain theory (GST) both predict that parental and teacher attachment will affect delinquency, but differ in their predictions about the form of this effect. Social control theory predicts that positively attached individuals will be much less delinquent than neutral and negatively attached individuals, with there being little difference in delinquency between the neutral and negatively attached individuals. GST predicts that negatively attached individuals will be much more delinquent than neutral and positively attached individuals, with there being little difference in delinquency between the neutral and positively attached individuals. These competing predictions are tested with data from a national sample of adolescent males. Results support the GST prediction, and thereby shed important light on the relationship between two of the central variables in the field and delinquency. This study also questions the tendency for criminologists to assume that effects are linear, and provides some guidance for investigating nonlinear effects.
Keywords: Criminology, Juvenile Delinquency, General Strain Theory
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