Violence, vandalism, and theft among Alberta youth : a reconceptualization of the general theory of crime

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Gillis, Tammy Jo
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Arts and Science, 2006
Despite the number of studies conducted regarding violence amongst youth, there is still much to be learned. The present study was designed in an attempt to better understand the nature of delinquent adolescent behaviour. The main objectives of this study are as follows: to understand the pattern and distribution of delinquent behaviour, including violence, vandalism, and theft among Lethbridge, Alberta's high school population, to identify possible factors that may play a role in one's likelihood of engaging in such behaviours, and finally, to contribute to Micheal Gottfredson and Travis Hirschi's (G&H) 'General Theory of Crime' (1990) by reconceptuahzing the concept of self-control. The present study includes 182 youth from two Lethbridge public high schools. Of the 182 respondents, 84 are female, and 98 are male. The youth involved in this study range from 15 to 19 years of age. Through the use of a questionnaire, a number of key variables are addressed. These variables are: empathy, impulse control, social bonds, and their relationship with violence, theft, and vandalism. The results of this study show that empathy and impulse control are significant predictors of violence and vandalism, while impulsive behaviour was found to be the only statistically significant predictor of theft among the variables included in the multiple regression analysis. Although social bonds were hypothesized to be a major predictor of all three delinquent behaviours included in this study, the results did not support such an assumption. It is suggested that perhaps the concept of social bonds was inadequately measured for use in this study. Future research using a better measure of social bonds, may find it to be a significant predictor of violence, vandalism, and theft.
vii, 100 leaves ; 29 cm.
Dissertations, Academic , Juvenile deliquency -- Alberta -- Lethbridge , Violence in adolescent -- Alberta -- Lethbridge , Teenagers -- Alberta -- Lethbridge , Deviant behavior -- Alberta -- Lethbridge