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Religiosity, Crime, and Drug Use Among Juvenile Offenders: A Test of Reciprocal Relationships Over Time

This article examines whether an individual's religiosity has reciprocal relationships with crime and drug use among juvenile offenders. Structural equation modeling is applied to analyze 11-wave panel data from a study of juveniles adjudicated or found guilty of a serious offense in two states...

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Bibliographic Details
Main Author: Jang, Sung Joon
Format: Electronic Article
Language:English
Published: 2018
In:International journal of offender therapy and comparative criminology
Year: 2018, Volume: 62, Issue: 14, Pages: 4445-4464
Online Access: Volltext (Resolving-System)
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Summary:This article examines whether an individual's religiosity has reciprocal relationships with crime and drug use among juvenile offenders. Structural equation modeling is applied to analyze 11-wave panel data from a study of juveniles adjudicated or found guilty of a serious offense in two states. Offenders' religiosity is measured both objectively (participation in religious activities) and subjectively (religious salience, experiences, and efficacy). While holding constant an offender's exposure time (the proportion of time on the street), previous levels of crime and drug use, and sociodemographic controls, this study found the relationship between religiosity and crime (i.e., nondrug offending) to be either bidirectional or unidirectional. The relationship between religiosity and drug use (binge drinking, marijuana use, and hard drug use) is, however, unidirectional over time. When unidirectional relationship is found, it is religiosity that decreases crime and drug use, not the other way around. Implications of findings are discussed.
ISSN:1552-6933