Gender, Delinquency and Social Control Theory: Addressing a Persistent Critique

Constance L. Chapple, University of Nebraska - Lincoln
Julia McQuillan, University of Nebraska - Lincoln
Terceira Berdahl, University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Hirschi's Social Control Theory is routinely criticized for its inability to predict female delinquency. Yet research in this area is limited. Only a handful of past research explicity tests Social Control Theory's ability to predice female offending vis a vis male offending. Additionally, many of these tests inadequately measure the central concepts of Hirschi's Social Control Theory. Using replicates of Hirschi's measures of attachment, commitment, involvement and belief, we test a model that accurately reflects the theoretical framework of Social Control Theory and shows the differential impact that elements of the theory have for boys' and girls' non-violent and violent offending.

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Updated 05/20/2006