You Are What You Do: A Cross-National Study of Routine Activities and Deviance

Lloyd E. Pickering, Auburn University
Alexander T. Vazsonyi, Auburn University
Marianne Junger, Universiteit Utrecht
Dick Hessing, Erasmus University Rotterdam

Social scientists have become increasingly interested in the link between adolescent leisure time and deviant behavior (Agnew & Petersen, 1989; Junger & Polder, 1922; Junger & Wiegersma, 1995; McQuoid, 1996; Riley, 1987). Few researchers have extended this line of work to test whether differences in rates of leisure activities can be used to explain existing cross-cultural differences in deviance (cf. Osgood, Wilson, Omally, Bachman & Johnson, 1996). The current study 1) examined differences in leisure and deviance by country and sex, and 2) tested whether cross-national differences in leisure time could account for cross-national differences in deviant behavior. Self-report data were collected from N=6,914 adolescents from four different countries (Hungary, Netherlands, Switzerland, United States; Vazsonyiu, Pickering, Junger, & Hessing, in press). Measures included demographic variables, leisure (11 items in 4 domains), and lifetime deviance (the Normative Deviance Scale [NDS; Vazsonyiu & Pickering, 2000] contains 55 items in 7 subscales). Results indicated that when residualized using leisure domains, mean level differences in deviance by country and sex were significantly reduced. These results seem to indicate that cross-national differences in rates of deviant behavior can be explained by differences in leisure activities. Additional analyses in this area will focus on the specific nature of these differences.

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Updated 05/20/2006