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School, Peers, and Delinquency: An Interactional Theory Approach to Examining Racial Differences
Jang, Daniel Wonho
Thornberry, Terence P
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Using an approach based on Thornberry’s interactional theory, this paper focuses on testing whether or not the theory is valid in explaining racial differences. This paper focuses on two variables of the theory, which previous studies indicate are more likely to explain race differences in delinquency than the others: commitment to school and peer delinquency. In accordance with interactional theory, this paper intends to examine the relationship between each set of variables and how they influence one another over time, whether or not these relationships are similar across racial groups, expanding on findings that use general theories such as social control and social learning to explain racial differences in offending, and, ultimately, implications regarding the application of theories to explain racial differences in offending. This paper will utilize structural equation modeling to conduct a multi-wave analysis using data from the Rochester Youth Development Study.