Etiological risk factors in juvenile delinquency: A comparison of Swiss and American adolescents.
AuthorVázsonyi, Alexander Thomas.
KeywordsJuvenile delinquency -- Switzerland.
Juvenile delinquency -- United States.
Juvenile delinquents -- Switzerland.
Juvenile delinquents -- United States.
Committee ChairRowe, David
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 dissertation examined etiological risk factors in juvenile delinquency from a control theory perspective (social and self-control theories). Two adolescent samples were used for this purpose: A Swiss national sample (N = 970) and a local American sample (N = 232). Four main questions were empirically examined: First, whether rates of deviance in delinquency were different by Swiss educational tracks (apprentices versus Gymnasium students) and by national origin (Swiss versus "non-Swiss"). Second, whether underlying developmental processes in juvenile delinquency were similar by educational tracks, by language regions, and by birth origins. Third, whether self-control was predictive of later deviance (U.S. sample). And finally, what explanation applied to the rates of delinquency in Swiss and American youth. The findings were: (1) Apprentices were more delinquent than Gymnasium students; no difference was found by national origin; (2) self-control during early adolescence was highly predictive of delinquent behavior four years later; and (3) American youths were consistently more delinquent than their Swiss age mates, especially on more serious acts. Although developmental processes in delinquency were similar for both groups, Swiss youth reported closer family relations and a higher level of self-control. These closer family relations and the greater self-control accounted for over 70 percent of the mean level difference in delinquency by nation. The discussion section focuses on implications of this study's findings for the tenets of self-control theory as well as its implications for national differences.
Degree ProgramFamily and Consumer Resources