Graduation Year

2009

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

M.A.

Degree Granting Department

Criminology

Major Professor

Shayne Jones, Ph.D.

Keywords

Control, Social bonds, Rational choice, Personality, Inhibitors, Juveniles, Delinquency, Mediating effects

Abstract

Control theories have substantively contributed both theoretically and empirically to criminological research. Recently, Hirschi moved away from the personality constructs associated with self-control and created a new conceptualization that favors social bonds. Specifically, Hirschi suggests that counting the number of inhibitors (derived from social bonds) is the best way to predict delinquency. Using middle school and high school students from Largo Florida, this study examines Hirschi's new conceptualization of inhibitors by comparing it with self-control and a traditional social bonding scale. In addition, this study also explores whether Hirschi's new conceptualization and self-control operate through a cognitive scale. Results suggest that some components of Hirschi's new conceptualization of inhibitors are supported, while others are not. Finally, limitations are discussed and directions for future research are outlined.

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