Modeling the Relative Contribution of Routine Activities and Peers to Present and Future Delinquency and Crime

Marc LeBlanc, University of Montreal
Julien Morizot, Universite de Montreal

Early on Tarde and Sutherland theorized on the learning process involved in delinquent behavior. Since then, there has been an enormous quantity of empirical studies on the role of delinquent peers in the initiation and development of offending. In this paper, we will extend the delinquent peers concept to the general notion of modelling, the existence of patterns that shape conformity, such as opportunities, rountine activities, peers bonding, and peer affiliation (prosocial and antisocial) that are available to individuals. Using representative and adjudicated samples and longitudinal data, we test the construct validity of the modeling concept using confirmatory factor analysis. In addition, we use path analysis to assess the relative direct and indirect importance ot its components to explain actual and future self-reported adolescent and adult offending. Results indicate that routine activities display a stronger effect on current offending, while delinquent peers show an enduring impact on future offending.

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Updated 05/20/2006