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The Generality of Deviance in Late Adolescence and Early Adulthood

D. Wayne Osgood, Lloyd D. Johnston, Patrick M. O'Malley and Jerald G. Bachman
American Sociological Review
Vol. 53, No. 1 (Feb., 1988), pp. 81-93
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2095734
Page Count: 13
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The Generality of Deviance in Late Adolescence and Early Adulthood
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Abstract

Because a wide variety of deviant behaviors are positively correlated with one another, some researchers conclude that all are manifestations of a single general tendency. The present analysis incorporated three waves of self-reports about heavy alcohol use, marijuana use, use of other illicit drugs, dangerous driving, and other criminal behavior for a nationally representative sample of high school seniors. A relatively stable general involvement in deviance accounted for virtually all association between different types of deviance, but the stability of each behavior could only be explained by equally important and stable specific influences. Thus, theories that treat different deviant behaviors as alternative manifestations of a single general tendency can account for some, but far from all, of the meaningful variance in these behaviors. The only significant influence of one type of deviance on another was that of marijuana use on later use of other illicit drugs. The causal model also revealed interpretable shifts in the associations among these behaviors over the four years following high school.

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