"Tapping" One Behavioral Domain: Self-Reported vs. Official Measures of Delinquency

Daniel J. Woods, University of Pennsylvania

In 1979, Hindelang, Hirschi, and Weis concluded that the apparent discrepancy between self-report and official records on delinquent behavior was a result of each method "tapping" different domains of behavior. With exceptions, this conclusion has been accepted with subsequent studies using one method over the other. However, using data from the RISE (ReIntegrative Shaming Experiments) experiments in Canberra Australia, we are in a position to use these methods of delinquency reporting tapping the same domain of behavior. As such, we can examine the ability of one method over the other to provide adequate indicators of demographic variables as well as predicting further criminal behavior. We will conclude with caveats and directions for future study.

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Updated 05/20/2006