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A longitudinal examination of predictors of delinquency: An analysis of data from the Mobile Youth Survey


  • Church, Wesley T.
  • Tomek, Sara
  • Bolland, Kathleen A.
  • Hooper, Lisa M.
  • Jaggers, Jeremiah
  • Bolland, John M.


This study analyzed the relationships among adolescent delinquency, self-worth, peer influence, and family cohesion (i.e., maternal and paternal warmth). The longitudinal analysis identified how these relationships develop and change through adolescence. Using data from the Mobile Youth Survey, a 14-year longitudinal study of high-poverty, primarily Black American youths living in Alabama (N=5400), delinquency, self-worth, and peer influence were analyzed in linear growth models. Results from these three linear growth models are presented. Findings include a significant increase in delinquency over time for the adolescents in the study and significantly lower rates of delinquency overall for females than males. Delinquency was also found to have negative relationships to both parental warmth and self-worth, with higher levels leading to decreased delinquency. Peer influence was found to have a gender effect, with males exhibiting steady rates, while females exhibit an increase in peer influence over time. Furthermore, maternal warmth and self-worth are also found to increase the rates of peer influence as well as significantly increasing self-worth.

Suggested Citation

  • Church, Wesley T. & Tomek, Sara & Bolland, Kathleen A. & Hooper, Lisa M. & Jaggers, Jeremiah & Bolland, John M., 2012. "A longitudinal examination of predictors of delinquency: An analysis of data from the Mobile Youth Survey," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(12), pages 2400-2408.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:cysrev:v:34:y:2012:i:12:p:2400-2408
    DOI: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2012.09.007

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jennings, Wesley G. & Piquero, Nicole L. & Gover, Angela R. & PĂ©rez, Deanna M., 2009. "Gender and general strain theory: A replication and exploration of Broidy and Agnew's gender/strain hypothesis among a sample of southwestern Mexican American adolescents," Journal of Criminal Justice, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 404-417, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Hennigan, Karen M. & Kolnick, Kathy A. & Vindel, Flor & Maxson, Cheryl L., 2015. "Targeting youth at risk for gang involvement: Validation of a gang risk assessment to support individualized secondary prevention," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 86-96.
    2. Hoeben, Evelien M. & Meldrum, Ryan C. & Walker, D'Andre & Young, Jacob T.N., 2016. "The role of peer delinquency and unstructured socializing in explaining delinquency and substance use: A state-of-the-art review," Journal of Criminal Justice, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 108-122.


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