Holt, Bossler and May (2012)
|Holt, Bossler and May (2012)|
|Title:||Low Self-control, Deviant Peer Associations, and Juvenile Cyberdeviance|
|Author(s):||Holt, T. J., Bossler, A. M., May, D. C.|
|Citation:||Holt, T. J., Bossler, A. M., & May, D. C. (2012). Low self-control, deviant peer associations, and juvenile cyberdeviance. American Journal of Criminal Justice, 37(3), 378-395.|
|Link(s):||Definitive , Open Access|
|Key Related Studies:|
|About the Data|
|Data Description:||435 middle schoolers and high school freshmen in Kentucky completed computerised surveys using scaled measures on self-control, deviant peer association, cyberdeviance (including illegal media and software downloading). Respondents were 50% female and 79% White, reflecting the schools' populations.|
|Data Type:||Primary data|
|Secondary Data Sources:|
|Data Collection Methods:|
|Data Analysis Methods:|
|Cross Country Study?:||No|
|Government or policy study?:||No|
|Time Period(s) of Collection:||
Gottfredson and Hirschi’s (1990) general theory of crime and Akers’ (1998) social learning theory have received strong empirical support for explaining crime in both the physical and cyberworlds. Most of the studies examining cybercrime, however, have only used college samples. In addition, the evidence on the interaction between low self-control and deviant peer associations is mixed. Therefore, this study examined whether low self-control and deviant peer associations explained various forms of cyberdeviance in a youth sample. We also tested whether associating with deviant peers mediated the effect of low self-control on cyberdeviance as well as whether it conditioned the effect. Low self-control and deviant peer associations were found to be related to cyberdeviance in general, as well as piracy, harassment, online pornography, and hacking specifically. Deviant peer associations both mediated and exacerbated the effect of low self-control on general cyberdeviance, though these interactions were not found for the five cyberdeviant types examined.
Main Results of the Study
This study found that deviant peer groups had a greater influence on illegal downloading of media than low self-control; non-deviant peer groups could mitigate some of the low self-control effect on cyberdeviance. Further, students with greater computer knowledge and high grades were more likely to pirate software.
Policy Implications as Stated By Author
Further research should focus on the greater influence of deviant peer groups and related juvenile delinquency, as self-control -- a predictive factor in youth cybercrime -- is mediated by peer associations.
Coverage of Study
|Level of aggregation:||Individual|
|Period of material under study:||2008|