AuthorCREECHAN, JAMES JOHN HENRY.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThis dissertation critically analyzes control theories of delinquency, but concentrates on Hirschi's version. The bonds of control reduce to two concepts, "belief" and "attachment," since "involvement" and "commitment" appear to be redundant. An analysis of the dimensionality of both belief and attachment is made in order to provide indicators to test control theory, but no adequate empirical means of reduction is found. A review of deterrence and an analysis of the meaning of sanctions suggest that "fear of sanctions" should also be tested in a control framework, but in order to accomplish this it is necessary to make the distinction between cognitive measures of fear and emotional measures of fear. A measure, "anxiety," based on emotional response is tested and located in a passive aversive conditioning framework. Consideration is also given to the institutional referents of "fear of sanctions" and it appears that legal institutions have the least effective sanctions. The test of control theory uses the general linear model with the three general concepts, in blocks of unspecified causal order, regressed on five specific measures of delinquency and three general indices of delinquency. Some support for control theory is found for belief variables across all acts, but attachment has a lower and less consistent effect. The fear of sanction measures are not relevant to all acts, and where they are, it generally is in a direction opposite to that predicted. An argument is made that control theory most likely reduces to existing theories of socialization, and that there is some support for thinking of it in a passive aversive framework of learning.