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Socioeconomic Status, Subcultural Definitions, and Violent Delinquency

Karen Heimer
Social Forces
Vol. 75, No. 3 (Mar., 1997), pp. 799-833
Published by: Oxford University Press
DOI: 10.2307/2580520
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2580520
Page Count: 35
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Socioeconomic Status, Subcultural Definitions, and Violent Delinquency
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Abstract

This article examines the theoretical links between socioeconomic status and violent delinquency. The arguments draw on work on social structure and personality and learning theories of crime and delinquency. Hypotheses derived from the resulting explanation are tested using covariance structure models and panel data from a national sample of males. Consistent with these arguments, the results show that violent delinquency is a product of learning definitions favorable to violence, which itself is determined directly and indirectly by association with aggressive peers, socioeconomic status, parenting practices, and prior violent delinquency. The article concludes that explanations of violent adolescent behavior must take into account the joint contributions of social stratification and culture.

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