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

See all articles by Sherod Thaxton

Sherod Thaxton

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - School of Law

Robert Agnew

Emory University

Date Written: 2004

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Thaxton, Sherod and Agnew, Robert, The Nonlinear Effects of Parental and Teacher Attachment on Delinquency: Disentangling Strain from Social Control Explanations (2004). Justice Quarterly, Vol. 21, No. 4, 2004. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2679108

Sherod Thaxton (Contact Author)

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - School of Law ( email )

385 Charles E. Young Dr. East
Room 1242
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1476
United States

HOME PAGE: http://law.ucla.edu/faculty/faculty-profiles/sherod-thaxton

Robert Agnew

Emory University ( email )

201 Dowman Drive
Atlanta, GA 30322
United States

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