An examination of the development of delinquency in middle childhood.
AuthorScaramella, Laura Virginia.
Behavioral assessment of children.
Mother and child.
Committee ChairGamble, Wendy C.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis investigation was designed to specify the developmental course of adolescent delinquency by examining precursors of delinquency evident in childhood. Two theoretical perspectives were used to examine the influences of childhood behaviors and experiences on the incidence of adolescent delinquency and childhood deviance. Social control theory and social interactional theory were tested on two separate samples. The goal of Study 1 was to determine whether the variables associated with each theory were more predictive of adolescent delinquency rather than concurrent deviance. The sample used in Study 1 was comprised of 206 boys who participated in the Oregon Youth Study. The results of Study 1 indicated that the variables associated with social interactional theory significantly predicted concurrent deviance. After controlling for the influence of fourth and fifth grade deviance, neither theory was predictive of adolescence. Only child deviance significantly predicted police reported delinquency. The goal of Study 2 was to determine whether the variables associated with social control and social interactional theories were predictive of young children's deviance. One hundred and one children were assessed in first, second, fourth, or fifth grade. Results indicated that the variables did not vary in predictability based on the age of the child. Regarding social control theory, children's self control was somewhat associated with deviance after controlling for the influence of children's temperament. Regarding social interactional theory, children who were rated as antisocial were significantly more likely to be rated as deviant. The results of the two studies are discussed in terms of the stability of deviance. That is, in Study 2, children's temperament and antisocial behavior were most strongly associated with concurrent childhood deviance and in Study 1, child deviance was most predictive of delinquency. Thus, deviance may actually be present early in a child's life and may not change with children's development. Instead, society's reactions to deviance may change as children mature such that deviance is more tolerated among children rather than among adolescents.
Degree ProgramFamily and Consumer Resources