The Relative Importance of General Versus Offense-Specific Beliefs

Travis W. Anderson, University of Washington

Many theories of crime and delinquency incorporate some element of moral attitudes which allow (or prohibit) the commission of an offense. This study examines the relative influence of general attitudes towards conformity and obeying the law with the influence of attitudes specific to violent offenses, property offenses, and drug offenses. The results imply that both general and offense- specific beliefs are important predictors of offending behavior; however, their relative importance varies by the type of offense.

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Updated 05/20/2006