Date of Award

Summer 1999

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Sociology & Criminal Justice


Applied Sociology

Committee Director

Randy Gainey

Committee Member

Brian K. Payne

Committee Member

William Agyei

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.S62 M556


In a secondary analysis of data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY), this study examines the basic concepts of Gottfredson and Hirschi's general theory of crime. A set of variables measured at ages 6-9 was used to operationally define the concepts of self-control, parenting, and deviance. The study tests for empirical associations between self-control, deviance, and parenting. Also, television viewing is introduced as a possible cause of low self-control. Age, race, and gender are included as statistical controls. Models of self-control and deviance were developed to analyze these relationships. Results found qualified support for the existence of significant associations between self-control and the television viewing and parenting variables. A moderate correlation between self-control and deviance indicates support for Gottfredson and Hirschi's theory of criminality. Suggestions are offered on data gathering and variable selection for the benefit of future research on the subject.


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