TEORIES (1r semestre) TREBALL FINAL: SOCIAL CONTROL THEORY AND JUVENILE DELINQUENCY (2016)Trabajo Inglés
treball final del primer semestre. J,Cid.
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Guillem Campillo et al
Introduction .................................................................................................................................. 2
Social Control theory ................................................................................................................. 2
Social Control Theory and Delinquency .................................................................................... 4
Literature Revision ........................................................................................................................ 6
Narrative Summary ................................................................................................................... 9
Conclusions ................................................................................................................................. 11
Bibliography ................................................................................................................................ 13
Guillem Campillo et al
Social Control theory
The theory that we have been working with during all the semester is the Social control
theory. Social control theory, social bond theory or simply control theory, is a well-known
criminological theory developed by Ivan Nye in 1958. Some years later, in 1969, it was
versioned and adapted by the sociologist Travis Hirschi in cooperation with Michael R.
Gottfredson in their famous criminology work “Causes of delinquency”. Such work, was focused on Social Control Theory, arguing that the key to discover the causes of delinquency and its desistance was the social conformity, achieved through a process known as socialization, the formation of a bond between an individual and the society, composed of four major elements: attachment, commitment, involvement and belief, that we will explain below. As you can presume, Hirschi stated that the strongest these four elements were, the smallest the possibilities to offend would be.
This theory was originally titled ‘’Social Bond Theory’’, and as it has been explained previously, was developed in 1969 by Travis Hirschi with the objective to extract the variables that contribute to people’s decision on becoming law-abiding citizens and with the aim to test the anomie theory, theory developed in 1957 by Robert K. Merton. So, social bond theory was previously known with that name because it suggested that criminal activity is the product of a lack of ties with society. In conclusion, the theory said that people break the law because they have lost all respect for society or that they don’t feel part of it.
Over time, the theory became known as ‘’Social Control Theory’’ and suggested a new perspective which predicts that the delinquent behavior takes place when social constraints on antisocial behavior are absent.
Therefore, the new theory itself said that it’s not the lacking ‘’bond’’ that motivates the delinquent behavior, but it’s more the lack of control that motivates it. Hence, it’s when we feel that we cannot take control of one situation when we appeal to the risks and in most cases these risks drive to a criminal behavior.
2 Guillem Campillo et al unybook.com Hirschi suggested, as we have said before, that there are four connectors between people and society: attachment, commitment, involvement and belief: Attachment corresponds to all those ties that youth have with others that are like them.
It is the family environment, the source of this attachment, because parents act as role models and teach their children the best and acceptable way of social behavior. Our attachment comes as a result of our interactions with our environment, like friends, family, co-workers...
Commitment refers to the aspiration of going to college and getting a good job. In contrast to youth who have clear objectives in life, adolescents who drink, smoke and other deviant behavior are much more likely to get involved in delinquency.
Involvement refers to the participation in activities which lead toward socially valued success and status objectives. All the activities and relationships that youth do through their life are really important for preventing delinquency. Involvement basically shows that being part of a meaningful activity reduces the possibility of committing a crime. This is why youth sports and after-school activities are so highly-encouraged in academic settings.
Belief is the acceptance of the moral validity. This variation in the acceptance of the moral validity is a focus in the theory. Hirschi argues that there are some values that are more important and dominant than others and even delinquents can recognize the validity of those values. Even so, delinquents may not feel bound by them due to the weakened link that they feel with the social order.
Though the lack of Social Control has been largely used as an explanation of the appearance of crime, recent studies (see A. Bottoms & A. Von Hirsch, 2010) have used the Social Control theory to explain the causes of the natural desistance that most offenders (85%) experience when they reach advanced adulthood (30 years old), leaving the criminal world permanently. So how can the Social control theory explain this process? So simple, when offenders reach the age of 30, they usually have started to build strong social bonds such as a stable job, a group of friends or/and a love partner, bonds strong enough to prevent the individual, who will be afraid of breaking those bonds, from perpetuating any illegal or antisocial behavior. In short, it’s basically the same process that takes places in the life of a young non-offender individual 3 Guillem Campillo et al unybook.com (Attachment, commitment, involvement, belief) with only a little hint, it happens 15 years later.
In conclusion, years of research done by Hirschi and other authors to a big number of reliable data, concluded that once the individual is able to interact with the society appropriately and be part of the social environment in a positive and beneficial way, this individual will automatically move away from antisocial and criminal behavior, accomplishing that way, the already mentioned social conformity. As explained, this process might happen early in someone’s life, avoiding that way the entrance to the criminal world, or quite later, making and exit from such troublesome world.
Social Control Theory and Delinquency The criminal phenomenon that our group had originally chosen was a really famous one: illegal drug trade, a global black market focused on the production, manufacture, distribution and sale of any kind of illegal drugs, and we wanted to focus on drug dealing concerning youngsters. However, we realized that drug dealing was to general, even if we reduced it to teenage drug dealing, because it study would be really similar to any kind of offending committed by youngsters. Consequently, we changed our original criminal phenomena to Delinquency, (with its meaning Juvenile Delinquency and not delinquency in general) a wider but more analyzable subject.
In our project, we are going to focus not in massive delinquency such as the one involved to the famous South American cartels or to terrorist organizations (religion related or others) but in more local delinquency, by which teenagers first enter the criminal world, with delinquent activities, usually misdemeanors such as fights between gangs, dealing with soft drugs or stealing not highly expensive possessions. This delinquency takes place not only in the third world but also in advanced occidental societies, including among them our society too.
So, what factors of the Social Control Theory would be able to explain the criminal phenomenon mentioned above? You will know the answer of this question as soon as we explain our logical hypothesis: Our hypothesis suggests that teenagers which start to commit crimes such as de ones already mentioned above, do it due to the lack of attachment, basically family attachment, and due to the possession of wrong beliefs, wrong beliefs learned due to for instance a bad relationship with the family. These two factors, extracted from the social 4 Guillem Campillo et al unybook.com control theory, will cause sooner or later the disappearance of social involvement and commitment, entering the criminal world completely. Both first factors could be explained by the fact that these individuals haven’t had parents acting like role models (alcohol or drug addicts, violent methods, usual and hard arguments, etc.) so they haven’t learned neither an acceptable way of social behavior or moral beliefs, with which act and relate following the social values. Consequently, they don’t feel bonded to the social order and they act according to their own rules or their group of friends’ rules, which commonly are quite different from the legal and official rules. This kind of people don’t feel like their house is their home so they spend a lot of time in the streets looking for one. They will soon find individuals in a similar situation than them, forming problematic groups which will get along with groups of older guys who will show them ways to win easy money such as drug dealing or stealing. In no time, these antisocial individuals will fully enter the criminal world, which they won’t leave easy because they will consider their friends their new family, the streets their new home and the criminal acts they use for living their new job and responsibility. For once in their life they will fill important and they will like that, a lot. Shortly afterwards these individuals will start getting into fights, with rival gangs for instance, committing violent crimes. All these factors will produce lots of encounters with the police forces and legal system, which will soon cause the social labelling of these individuals, being widely known as delinquents. Both, the illegal activities and the social labelling, will force young delinquents to abandon their life aspiration such as going to college and getting a respectable job. Same thing will happen with meaningful activities such as sports or cultural ones.
In conclusion, our hypothesis summed would be something like: teenagers start getting involved in criminal activities as a consequence of the lack of parents acting as role models (dysfunctional family), which should teach them moral and social values (No attachment, wrong beliefs). Entering the criminal world will make them lose any kind of involvement and commitment too. These factors will create an individual completely disconnected with the society and its values, becoming totally a criminal.
Graphically visualized: No parents acting like role models No attachment, wrong beliefs Entering the criminal world Different kinds of offending + social labelling No commitement No involvement 5 Guillem Campillo et al unybook.com Literature Revision Table-summary Article Principle ideas from Relationship Citation the text with our research We can relate it to our This paper is a study using longitudinal panel analysis and five waves of data Peterson, Lee, from the Korean Social Bonds, Henninger & Cubellis Youth Panel Survey Juvenile (2016). Social Bonds, to examine the Delinquency, and Juvenile influence of nine Korean Delinquency, and measures of social Adolescents: Intra- Korean Adolescents: bonding on delinquent and Inter- Intraand Inter- behavior. Also, the Individual Individual results of the study Implications of Implications of emphasis specifically Hirschi’s Social Hirschi’s Social on education in Korea Bonds Theory Bonds Theory Using and the role of parents Using Panel Data. Panel Data. Crime in supervising their and Delinquency, 62 (1), 1337-1363.
children as an integral role in reducing the delinquency research because, basically, the objective of the study is to corroborate our theory. The results are focused on the attachment and the importance of this, relating to the it longitudinal panel analysis and the five waves of data from the Korean Panel Youth Survey, and how important is the attachment and the education in reducing delinquency in Korea.
of Korean youth.
Support for the hipothesis: Positive.
Social context, Tasgin family process, (2016).
and Turkish boys’ context, pathway & Morash This piece of work We can relate this Social published in the article with our theory family International Journal in the fact that the to process, and Turkish of Comparative and information obtained 6 Guillem Campillo et al incarceration: unybook.com an boys’ pathway application of the incarceration: age-graded theory application to Applied Criminal can be an Justice, was done in with our theory. The of the Turkey, with the aim information obtained of informal social age-graded theory of to obtain information about informal control.
social about the the Journal of apply Comparative to and Turkish Criminal To social social control that families control. International control that families apply Applied contrasted to convicted convicted youngsters is very youngsters. useful and concrete obtain such as Justice, 40 (1), 315- information, consists in 30 30 interviews made to 30 interviews were made youngsters. The fact 331.
to 30 youngsters that this work uses convicted in juvenile mainly interviews this prisons.
Results will be really helpful showed that deviant for us as lots of the conducts have usually most studies we have their origin in lack of found are attachment to their generic more and parents, which may consider don’t particular result from harsh or cases like this work erratic methods discipline, levels and of of does.
low parental monitoring.
Supporting for the hipothesis: Positive How is parenting Janssen, to Eichelsheim, Deković how motherhood is that interests us is related adolescent & Bruinsma (2016). directly and indirectly only delinquency? between- A How is parenting related to of delinquency? A authors take the between- and within- criminological mediating role of person analysis of theories the juvenile relates and related to adolescent delinquency.
within-person analysis This study examines The part of the study one motherhood The (directly and three indirectly) using (social theory.
that to the crime control Also, 7 the Guillem Campillo et al unybook.com self-control, the mediating role of control delinquent self-control, attitudes, delinquency, time spent theory, authors studied how differential changes in paternity peer delinquent attitudes, association and peer theory affected in delinquency, and routine activity delinquency, and if it in and time spent in theory). In addition, change it or not. With criminogenic criminogenic settings.
they studied how the results obtained European changes in paternity from a study of the Journal of affected delinquency, 603 Criminology, 13 (1), and whether or not it was youngsters, deduced changed it. Results of paternity 169-194.
multilevel it that was structural indirectly related to equation modeling on delinquency through two waves of panel self-control.
data on 603 adolescents indicated that parenting was indirectly related to Support for the delinquency through hipothesis: Positive self-control, delinquent attitudes, peer delinquency, and time spent in criminogenic settings.
Furthermore, changes in parenting during adolescence were indirectly related to changes in delinquency through changes in delinquent attitudes and in peer delinquency.
The Triangulation Barfield-Cottledge Effects of Family (2015).
Structure This paper The Hirschi’s relates These paper, even control though it doesn't and Triangulation Effects theory, specially the relate Hirschi’s theory 8 Guillem Campillo et al Attachment unybook.com on of Family Structure area of attachment, to a proper criminal Adolescent and Attachment on regarding Substance Use.
Adolescent Substance Crime family conduct, it relates it to structure and family two deviant conducts Use. bond, to the among and substance abuse (alcohol Delinquency, 61 (1), perpetrated 297-320.
by abuse) youngsters youngsters and drug which are between usually related to real 15 and 18 years old and serious crimes (alcohol and drugs). (lots of people offend The study, wihch in order to satisfy their involved males and addictions).
In concluded conclusion, we can’t females that adolescents rest importance to this unattached to their piece of work for not parents or from treating serious unstructured families crimes.
(separated parents or non biological parents) tend consume alcohol such to more and as driugs marijuana than those youngsters Support for the hipothesis: Positive highly bonded to their parents.
Narrative Summary To document and prepare correctly our work, we decided to read and report 4 different journals, all selected in function of our theory (the control theory) and our chosen crime problem (juvenile delinquency).
The first one we have chosen is a 2016 journal written by Peterson, Lee, Henninger and Cubellis and extracted from the 62 volume Crime and Delinquency, from pages 1337 to 9 Guillem Campillo et al unybook.com 1367. This paper is a study using longitudinal panel analysis and five waves of data from the Korean Youth Panel Survey to examine the influence of nine measures of social bonding on delinquent behaviour. Also, the results of the study emphasis specifically on education in Korea and the role of parents in supervising their children as an integral role in reducing the delinquency of Korean Youth.
We chose this journal because the objective of the study is to corroborate our theory, thing that we can see in the results. This results are focused on the attachment and the importance of this, relating it to the longitudinal panel analysis and five waves of data from the Korean Youth Panel Survey, and how important is the attachment and the education in reducing delinquency in Korea.
The second one is a 2016 journal written by Tasgin and Morash and extracted from the 40 volume of International Journal of Comparative and Applied Criminal. This piece of work published in the International Journal of Comparative and Applied Criminal Justice, was done in Turkey, with the aim to obtain information about the social control that families apply to convicted Turkish youngsters. To obtain such information, 30 interviews were made to 30 youngsters convicted in juvenile prisons. Results showed that deviant conducts have usually their origin in lack of attachment to their parents, which may result from harsh or erratic methods of discipline, and low levels of parental monitoring.
We can relate this article with our theory in the fact that the information obtained can be contrasted with our theory. The information obtained about the social control that families apply to convicted youngsters is very useful and concrete as consists in 30 interviews made to 30 youngsters. The fact that this work uses mainly interviews this will be really helpful for us as lots of the most studies we have found are more generic and don’t consider particular cases like this work does.
The third one is a 2016 journal written by Janssen, Eichelseim, Deković and Bruinsma and extracted from the 13 volume of European Journal of Criminology. This study examines how motherhood is directly and indirectly related to juvenile delinquency. The authors take three criminological theories (social control theory, differential association theory and routine activity theory). In addition, they studied how changes in paternity affected delinquency, and whether or not it changed it. Results of multilevel structural equation modeling on two waves of panel data on 603 adolescents indicated that parenting was indirectly related to delinquency through self-control, delinquent attitudes, peer delinquency, and time spent in criminogenic settings. Furthermore, changes in parenting during adolescence were indirectly related to changes in delinquency through changes in delinquent attitudes and in peer delinquency.
10 Guillem Campillo et al unybook.com The part of the study that interests us is only the one that relates motherhood (directly and indirectly) to crime using the control theory. Also, the authors studied how changes in paternity affected in delinquency, and if it changes it or not. With the results obtained from a study of the 603 youngsters, it was deduced that paternity was indirectly related to delinquency through self-control.
The fourth one is a 2015 journal written by Barfield-Cottledge and extracted from volume 61 of Crime and Delinquency (the same as the first one) and relates Hirschi’s control theory, specially the area of attachment, regarding family structure and family bond, to the substance abuse perpetrated by youngsters between 15 and 18 years old (alcohol and drugs). The study, which involved males and females concluded that adolescents unattached to their parents or from unstructured families (separated parents or nonbiological parents) tend to consume more alcohol and drugs such as marijuana than those youngsters highly bonded to their parents.
These paper, even though it doesn't relate Hirschi’s theory to a proper criminal conduct, it relates it to two deviant conducts among youngsters (alcohol and drug abuse) which are usually related to real and serious crimes (lots of people offend in order to satisfy their addictions). In conclusion, we can’t rest importance to this piece of work for not treating serious crimes.
Conclusions Our hypothesis, as we said in the beginning of this project, tries to find out how young people, normally adolescent people, engage in delinquency due to the lack of attachment with families and to the possession of wrong beliefs, also born as a consequence of familiar issues.
With the research that we have found about this phenomenon, we will try to contrast our hypothesis with these empirical researches, and make a clear conclusion of the subject.
The first review talks about a study released in Korea. From the results obtained from this review, we can clearly contrast our hypothesis with them. The results are focused on the attachment and its importance, as well and the education, which are found to be really determinant factors regarding delinquency among young Koreans. So basically, this research explain that attachment and good education are very important connectors between people and society, because the results obtained say that as higher is the attachment with parents, less will be the engagement in delinquency per part of the adolescents.
11 Guillem Campillo et al unybook.com The second review talks about a study released in Turkey. In this study the objective was to obtain information about the social control that families apply to convicted youngsters.
The results obtained from this review, can easily be contrasted with our hypothesis. The results showed that the deviant conducts that youngsters had realized, usually had their origin in the lack of attachment with their parents, or quite differently, resulted also showed that it was caused by the harsh or erratic methods of discipline, and low levels of parental monitoring. In short, family attachment was the most relevant and influential factor.
The third review talks about a study done by some authors where they try to examine if paternity is directly and indirectly related to juvenile delinquency. From this research, they took a big frame of adolescents, 603 adolescents to concrete it, and they studied if the changes in the family produced changes in the behavior of the adolescent. They found that this phenomenon occurs, and that any important changes that could affect badly to the child’s family, can produce a change in what refers to the engagement to delinquency from the adolescent. So basically, the results, in this research, show we can contrast them positively with our hypothesis and we can see that the explanation given by them concords with our hypothesis, like it happens in the other reviews we have found.
The last review talks about the relation between the attachment regarding family structure and family bond, to the substance abuse perpetrated by youngsters between 15 and 18 years old. The results show that adolescent with lack of attachment (in the study they call them unattached youngsters) or from unstructured families (separated parents or non-biological parents) tend to consume more alcohol and drugs such as marijuana than those youngsters highly bonded to their parents.
In short, the four empirical researches we have found give strength to our hypothesis, as each one relates the lack of family attachment in its different ways (lack of control, lack of parental monitoring, too harsh methods) directly to delinquency regarding youngsters, or at least regarding deviant conducts that can lead to delinquency. So according to these researches our hypothesis is indeed right: the less a youngster is attached to his family the more likely he will be to engage in criminal and deviant behavior. However, in our hypothesis we talked too about wrong beliefs, about which we haven’t found much work. In short, our hypothesis has been partially verified for the empirical research that we have reviewed, which agree with the most important part of our hypothesis, and if we had to conduct ourselves and empirical research we would as well search for the area of knowledge regarding wrong beliefs. Furthermore, we’d like to say that we have found really interesting and logic Hirschi’s theory and work.
12 Guillem Campillo et al unybook.com Bibliography -A. Bottoms & A. Von Hirsch (2010). The crime preventive impact of penal sanctions. En: P. Cane and H. Kritzer (eds). Oxford handbook of empirical-legal research. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
-Hirschi, T. (2003). Una teoría del control de la delincuencia. Capítulo criminológico Vol.31.
Encontrado: http://www.produccioncientificaluz.org/index.php/capitulo/article/view/5036/5026 -Moffit, T. (1993). Adolescence-limited and life-course-persistent antisocial behaviour: A developmental taxonomy. Pycological Review, vol 100/4: 674-701.
-Wiatrowsky, M., Griswold, D., & Roberts, M. (1981). Social control theory and delinquency. American Sociological Review, Vol. 46, No. 5 (Oct., 1981), pp. 525-541.
-Peterson, B.E., Lee,D. , Henninger, A.M. & Cubellis, M.A. (2016, october 1). Social Bonds, Juvenile Delinquency, and Korean Adolescents: Intra- and Inter-Individual Implications of Hirschi’s Social Bonds Theory Using Panel Data. Crime and Delinquency, volume 62, pp.1337-1363.
-Tasgin, S. & Morash, M. (2016, october 1). Social context, family process, and Turkish boys’ pathway to incarceration: an application of the age-graded theory of informal social control. International Journal of Comparative and Applied Criminal Justice, Volume 40, pp.315-331.
-Janssen, H.J. , Eichelsheim, V.I. , Deković, M. & Bruinsma, G.J.N.. (2016, March 1).
How is parenting related to adolescent delinquency? A between- and within-person analysis of the mediating role of self-control, delinquent attitudes, peer delinquency, and time spent in criminogenic settings. European Journal of Criminology, Volume 13, pp.169-194.
13 Guillem Campillo et al unybook.com -Barfield-Cottledge, T.. (2015, march 14). The Triangulation Effects of Family Structure and Attachment on Adolescent Substance Use. Crime and Delinquency, Volume 61, pp.297-320.