Testing a psychosocial control theory of delinquency

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47 Citations (Scopus)


This article reviews the theoretical and empirical grounds for incorporating aspects of personal control in Hirschi's (1969) social control theory of delinquency. A subsequent test of the resultant psychosocial control perspective, conducted with 793 Australian secondary-school students, indicates that it has greater explanatory power than Hirschi's model. Fifty-two percent of the variance in self-reported delinquency was accounted for by a combination of the social control variables of belief in the moral validity of the law, liking for school, and parental bonding; the personal control variables of impulse control and emotional empathy; and the background variables of sex, age, and broken home status.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-230
Number of pages16
JournalCriminal Justice and Behavior
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1990


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