Abstract

An Examination of Self-Control and the Family Structure

By:

Melissa Sue Bleininger

Faculty Mentor:

Adrian Jones, Ph.D.

Department of Sociology

Kent State University at Tuscarawas

Gottfredson and Hirschi are the leading authorities concerning a major criminological theory called the general theory of crime. The main theoretical assumption and finding is that self-control is related to criminal behavior (Gottfredson and Hirschi 1990). According to Gottfredson and Hirschi (1990), parental attachment is the greatest influence on the development of self-control. Due to the belief that more factors are important for self-control than parental attachment, many researchers have examined other influences (e.g., Pratt and Cullen 2000) Additional factors in my research include family structure, frequency of religious practice, participation in hobbies, and sports participation. I hypothesize that these factors have a significant influence on self-control development, in addition to parental attachment. I used The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (ADD Health) to analyze bivariate correlations, independent-samples t-tests, and regressions. My results supported Gottfredson and Hirschi’s (1990) finding that parental attachment is the greatest influence on self-control. However, I discovered other influences such as religious practices and participation in hobbies and sports are positively related to self-control. Additionally, I discovered that family structure is related to self-control, albeit a smaller influence than parental attachment. While my research supported Gottfredson and Hirschi’s theory, more work needs done to fully understand the development of self-control. In the future, researchers should examine other variables to see what additional factors are related to self-con

Modified Abstract

Gottfredson and Hirschi’s general theory of crime’s (1990) main theoretical assumption is that self-control is related to criminal behavior, and that parental attachment is the greatest influence on the development of self-control. I hypothesize that family structure, frequency of religious practice, participation in hobbies, and sports participation also have a significant influence on self-control development. I used The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (ADD Health) to analyze hypotheses related to Gottfredson and Hirschi’s assumptions. My results supported Gottfredson and Hirschi’s (1990) finding that parental attachment is the greatest influence on self-control. However, I discovered other influences such as religious practices, participation in hobbies and sports, and family structure are positively related to self-control.

Research Category

Social Science/Education/Public Health

Primary Author's Major

Sociology

Mentor #1 Information

Dr. Adrian M. Jones

Presentation Format

Poster

Start Date

15-3-2016 12:00 AM

Research Area

Criminology | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Sociology

Included in

Criminology Commons

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Mar 15th, 12:00 AM

An Examination of Self-Control and the Family Structure

An Examination of Self-Control and the Family Structure

By:

Melissa Sue Bleininger

Faculty Mentor:

Adrian Jones, Ph.D.

Department of Sociology

Kent State University at Tuscarawas

Gottfredson and Hirschi are the leading authorities concerning a major criminological theory called the general theory of crime. The main theoretical assumption and finding is that self-control is related to criminal behavior (Gottfredson and Hirschi 1990). According to Gottfredson and Hirschi (1990), parental attachment is the greatest influence on the development of self-control. Due to the belief that more factors are important for self-control than parental attachment, many researchers have examined other influences (e.g., Pratt and Cullen 2000) Additional factors in my research include family structure, frequency of religious practice, participation in hobbies, and sports participation. I hypothesize that these factors have a significant influence on self-control development, in addition to parental attachment. I used The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (ADD Health) to analyze bivariate correlations, independent-samples t-tests, and regressions. My results supported Gottfredson and Hirschi’s (1990) finding that parental attachment is the greatest influence on self-control. However, I discovered other influences such as religious practices and participation in hobbies and sports are positively related to self-control. Additionally, I discovered that family structure is related to self-control, albeit a smaller influence than parental attachment. While my research supported Gottfredson and Hirschi’s theory, more work needs done to fully understand the development of self-control. In the future, researchers should examine other variables to see what additional factors are related to self-con