Self-Control, External Environment, and Delinquency: aTest of Self-Control Theory in Rural China

Although self-control consistently emerges as one of the most robust correlates of delinquent behavior, limited empirical attempts have been made to explore the contextual variability of the relationship between self-control and delinquency outside of Western societies. Using data collected from 587...

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Published in:International journal of offender therapy and comparative criminology
Main Author: Jiang, Xin (Author)
Other Authors: Chen, Xiaojin (Author); Zhuo, Yue
Format: Electronic Article
Language:English
Published: [2020]
In:International journal of offender therapy and comparative criminology
Year: 2020, Volume: 64, Issue: 16, Pages: 1696-1716
Online Access: Resolving-System
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Summary:Although self-control consistently emerges as one of the most robust correlates of delinquent behavior, limited empirical attempts have been made to explore the contextual variability of the relationship between self-control and delinquency outside of Western societies. Using data collected from 587 seventh- to ninth-grade students across 10 middle schools in a rural county of Southeast China, we examine self-control’s efficacy in explaining juvenile delinquency in the presence of external environmental factors, and investigate relative strength of self-control and contextual factors in predicting delinquent behaviors. Our results confirm that self-control is an important predictor of delinquent behavior in a non-Western cultural context. However, certain environmental factors rooted in family, school, and peer groups are also shown to be the predictors of delinquent behavior where strength seems to exceed that of self-control. These findings shed more nuanced insights on the nexus between self-control, external situations, and delinquency, and in a broader sense, contribute to the elaboration of a more comprehensive understanding of self-control theory.
ISSN:1552-6933
DOI:10.1177/0306624X20923254