Age and Social Bonding Theory

Ozden Ozbay, Nigde University

ABSTRACT
Hirschi's social bonding theory is tested for 13-15, 16, and 17 years old high school students in terms of such delinquent behavior as assault, school delinquency, public disturbance, and misceallaneous minor offenses in the case of Ankara, the capital of Turkey. Data contain a two-stage stratified sample of 1,710 high school students. The findings of this study show that some of the elements of social bonding theory acount for 23 percent of the variance in assault for 13-15, 29 percent for 16, and 26 percent for 17-20 years old high school students. This finding indicates that the theory works best for the assaultive behavior of 16 years old high school students. Also, some components of social bonding theory account for 29 percent of the variation in school delinquency for 13-15, 41 percent for 15, 41 percent for 17-20 years old high school students. This suggests that social bonding theory works better for the middle and older adolescence. Moreover, social bonding variables explain 24 percent of the variance in public disturbance for 13-15, 23 percent in 16, and 26 percent in 17-20 years old high school students. This seems to imply that the theory works equally better for 13-15, 16, and 17-20 years old high school students. finally elements of social bonding theory explain more or less similar amount of the variation in miscellaneous minor offenses for both 16 and 17-20 years old adolescence (e.g., 16 percent). However, the accounted variance is 9 percent for 13-15 years old. The theory appears to have more explanatory power for the middle and late than early adoelscence. All in all, except for public disturbance in which the theory accounts for similar aount of the variance for 13-15, 16, 17-20 years old high school students, social bonding theory works better for middle and late adolescence.

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Updated 05/20/2006