Examining Western-Based Explanations of Antisocial Behaviors in a Southeast Asian Country: Preliminary Results of a Longitudinal Study

Sheila Royo Maxwell, Michigan State University

While research on the etiology, consequences, and the prevention of delinquency has grown considerably in the last three decades, studies have primarily been conducted in Western societies, with the consequent application of research results in these same contexts. There is, however, a need to make delinquency theories and prevention measures relevant and applicable in wider social and cultural contexts. Driving this need are increases in crime and delinquency in many developing societies, where the need to proactively understand and control youth crime demands answers from the knowledge base of delinquency causation primarily developed in the United States. Additionally, the increasing diversity of American culture creates the need to verify the applicability of existing theories across a wide range of cultures and contexts. This study reports preliminary results of a longitudinal study of grade school students in the southern Philippines. Information domains representing competing explanations of delinquency in the United States such as peer influences, family influences, or the youth's legal commitments are analyzed against the youth's internalizing and eternalizing behaviors.

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Updated 05/20/2006