An empirical test of low self-control theory among Hispanic youths




Vera, Eliseo P.

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Gottfredson and Hirschi's (1990) general theory of crime has received empirical attention on its assertions. However, a majority of prior studies failed to examine the theory's applicability using Hispanic samples. Using a Hispanic youth sample of 278 adolescents from two junior high schools in a school district in a southern United States city, the current study examines whether parental practice is a main source of development of self-control which in turn leads to deviant behaviors. The findings indicate that parenting factors were not found to be contributors to the development of self-control, contrary to the theory's prediction. Further analysis revealed that other factors such as the neighborhood environment was found to be an important source of self-control. However, the findings show that low self-control has a significant effect on various types of delinquent behaviors in that youths with low self-control are more likely to engage in delinquency, consistent with the theory's prediction. Theoretical implication of the current findings and directions for future research are discussed in the conclusion and discussion section.


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control, general theory of crime, low self-control, neighborhoods, parenting, self-control



Criminal Justice