Impulsiveness, orientation to institutional authority, and gender as factors in self-reported delinquency among Australian adolescents

Ken Rigby, Anita S. Mak, Phillip T. Slee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Citations (Scopus)


Notwithstanding the current fashion in criminological theory to attribute deliquency to contemporary environmental or organisational factors, it is argued that individual personality and attitudinal characteristics are also predictive of delinquent behaviour. Young male and female adolescent schoolchildren (n = 115) attending an Australian high school answered questionnaires containing reliable measures of self-reported delinquent behaviour, impulsiveness, and attitudes towards institutional authority. In a multiple regression analysis, β coefficients for impulsiveness (0.46), gender (-0.27) and attitude to institutional authority (-0.18) indicated that reported delinquent behaviour was independently and significantly associated with being impulsive, male and negatively disposed towards institutional authority. The results are viewed as consistent with an interactionist perspective on delinquent behaviour, according to which individual, as well as environmental factors need to be taken into account.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)689-692
Number of pages4
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1989


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