Browsing Criminology & Criminal Justice Theses and Dissertations by Issue Date
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- ItemThe Effects of Police Systems and Their Environments on Police Homicides: An Exploratory Analysis(1988) Taylor-Greene, Helen Elizabeth; Wellford, Charles; Criminology & Criminal Justice; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, MD)The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of police systems and their environments on police homicides. Data from five sources, the Crime Control Institute, International Association of Chiefs of Police, Joint Center for Political Studies, Police Executive Research Forum, and the United States Bureau of the Census were used to create the database which included information on police systems, their environments and reported police homicides. This study provided an exploratory analysis of the effect, if any, of the following on police homicides: (1) police administrative review and investigation policies, (2) firearms training standards, (3 ) police system resources (4) demographic community characteristics, (5 ) political community characteristics, and (6 ) community crime characteristics. The most significant findings of the research were the following: (1) In a multivariate analysis of police homicides, the civilian homicide rate was the best predictor of police homicides. (2) There was no significant association between restrictiveness of review and investigation policies (Control), moral, legal and ethical aspects of firearms training, financial resources or education of sworn personnel and police homicides. (3) Race as a system environment variable was correlated with other environment variables at the zero order level but not significant in the multivariate analyses. (4) Civilian Homicides, Race, Black Political Empowerment and Family Ratio were moderately associated with police homicides at the zero order level. (5) Demographic characteristics had little, if any, effect on police homicides. (6) Interjurisdictional variation existed not only in police homicides but also in system management, resources and environments. These findings suggest that police system environmental factors are the best predictors of police homicides. While police departments should continue to strengthen the internal management of police homicides through policies and training, they should include other approaches to controlling and preventing police homicides. One approach should be the development of a model program to educate officers and civilians on police use of deadly force. These programs should focus on (1) attitudes and fears of police officers towards Black citizens and vice versa (2) human relations training and (3) the role of community violence in police violence. The systematic collection and dissemination of police homicide data is essential to future police use of force research. The data should include fatal and nonfatal shootings and be easily accessible. Future research should examine race as an organizational factor. Analyses of the effect, if any, of racial attitudes of police officers and racial composition of police departments on police homicides are needed.
- ItemThe Deterrent Effects of Police Patrol Presence On Criminal and Disorderly Behavior at High Crime Locations(1992) Koper, Christopher Sean; Sherman, Lawrence W.; Criminology & Criminal Justice; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md)This paper tests the deterrent ( or displacement) effects of preventive patrol upon criminal and non-criminal disorderly behaviors at high-crime locations ("hot spots") using observational data collected during a preventive patrol experiment in Minneapolis from December 1988 to November 1989. The analyses reveal that the immediate presence of uniformed police directly reduces the outbreak of disorderly conduct at hot spots, but this effect is contingent upon raising the overall level of proactive presences at hot spots. Increasing patrol levels at hot spots also produces residual deterrence which decreases disorder during times when police are not present at these locations. Such residual decreases in disorder are larger than the direct deterrent effects of police presence when patrol is at normal levels. Further, direct and residual deterrence generated by patrol are stronger for criminal acts than for a combined measure of criminal and non-criminal disorderly behaviors. The analyses employed survival models to estimate the effects of specific instances of patrol presence upon the time to the first disorder (criminal or non-criminal) after police depart from a hot spot. Using presences up to 20 minutes in length, these models reveal that longer presences increase survival time, thus enhancing residual deterrence. However, there is evidence this effect decreases after presences pass about 14 minutes in duration. Moreover, stops must be about 10 minutes in length in order to produce significantly better survival times than those produced by driving through a hot spot. The theoretical and policy implications of these results are discussed.
- ItemA Comparative Analysis of Multiple Level Risk Factors Between Child Homicide and Child Abuse and Neglect(1995) Stanley, Debra L.; Wellford, Charles F.; Criminal Justice and Criminology; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md)The primary purpose of this study was to explore and compare the risk factors between two major categories of child homicide and child abuse and neglect. The two child homicide categories are intrafamilial for all children murdered by a caretaker, and extrafamilial for all other homicides involving noncaretakers. Using State of Maryland Child Fatality Review data and Baltimore city Child Abuse and Neglect data, for the period between January 1993 and June 1994, multiple level risk factors are compared. The three levels of risk include individual, family, and community factors. The first phase of the analysis found that Baltimore city and all other Maryland city child homicide data are somewhat similar when examining each level of risk. The second phase of the analysis compares risk factors between each child homicide category. The typical child homicide victim was found to be a black male, with most intrafamilial victims under 10 years of age, and most extrafamilial victims between 10 and 17 years of age. The intrafamilial suspects were primarily the biological father between 26 and 48 years of age, while the typical extrafamilial suspect characteristics mirrored that of their victims. The third phase of the analysis compares both categories of child homicide and child abuse and neglect incidents. The victims' age, gender, and birth order position appear to differ when comparing child homicide and child abuse and neglect data. The suspect profiles appear to be similar for intrafamilial homicide and child abuse and neglect. Most victims' are living with a single parent and have experienced prior abuse or neglect. Also, most child homicide and child abuse and neglect victims have similar community level characteristics. The final phase of the analysis examines the specific causes and circumstances of death and injury. Intrafamilial homicide and child abuse and neglect incidents have similar characteristics with regard to causes and circumstances of death or injury.
- ItemEvaluation of Prince George's County, Maryland Day Reporting Program(1996) Trader, Lois LaChance; MacKenzie, Doris; Institute of Criminology and Criminal Justice; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md)Prefaced by an ever-increasing prison population, departments of correction are turning toward alternatives to incarceration for many non-violent, low-risk offenders. The need for alternatives to incarceration has spurred the development of community based programs to house these offenders. Electronic monitoring, intensive probation, shock incarceration and community service are some of the community based programs currently available. The late 1980s introduced a further community based treatment program, day reporting. Based on a British model, day reporting is an extension of intensive supervised probation that incorporates counselling, rehabilitative and treatment services with intensive supervision. Since the inception of day reporting centers in Massachusetts, 22 states in the U.S. have developed and implemented 114 day reporting centers. While the content of each program differs, the underlying concept of public safety through intensive supervision and offender rehabilitation remains constant across all programs. In January, 1994, the Prince George's County, Maryland Department of Corrections, Community corrections Division, together with the State of Maryland, Division of Probation and Parole opened a day reporting program to facilitate community reintegration of low-risk, non-violent offenders. This report provides a descriptive analysis of the program's first year of operation. The results indicate that while the Prince George's County Day Reporting Program implemented many of the initially proposed features, further effort must be made to ensure that all participants receive the necessary treatment and rehabilitative services.
- ItemThe Psychobiologic, Sociomoral and Legal Development of Juveniles on Death Row(1998) Sundeen, Kirsten; Wellford, Charles; Criminal Justice and Criminology; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md)In spite of substantial research completed on the subject of the death penalty, its imposition on offenders whose crimes were committed as juveniles continues to remain a subject of great debate. The recent Supreme Court decisions in Thompson v. Oklahoma, 108 S. Ct. 2687 (1988) and Stanford v. Kentucky, 109 S. Ct. 2969 (1989) theoretically established the age limit at 16-years-old. In reality, the imposition of sentences remains open to much judicial discretion in process and application. The crux of the problem is the great divide that continues to exist between the legal definition of juvenile and the biopsychosocial research. This paper argues that the legal definition fails to consider the biophysical and socioscientific evidence which is clearly supportive of a bright constitutional line being drawn at 18 years of age. There are currently a confirmed 71 subjects on death rows throughout the United States for crimes committed as juveniles. A substantive review of the available cases for similar appellate court identified mitigating factors is presented with particular emphasis on the recently argued Supreme Court cases of Thompson v. Oklahoma, Stanford v. Kentucky and Wilkins v. Missouri. Upon analysis of these cases, it appears that the young offenders have more than their age in common. Such factors as emotional and psychological disturbance, psychiatric diagnoses, troubled family history, documented history of head trauma and subnormal intelligence levels all put these juveniles at risk for so-called dissocial behavior. This risk factor is supported by a wide range of scientific data which is reviewed in this paper. In our society, disturbing ambiguity exists in the treatment of kids who kill. This is reflected in the diverse state statutes where the death penalty is permitted for juveniles. Although this individualized treatment was originally intended to be in the best interest of the juvenile, the unintended results have been inconsistency and inequity in treatment. A multitude of human factors make it virtually impossible to ensure that nonstatutory and statutory mitigating factors are uniformly applied in similar situations.
- ItemA Life Course Analysis of the Relationship Between Military Service and Criminal Behavior(2000) Allen, Leana Cristine; Laub, John H.; Criminology; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md)Throughout U.S. history, the military has served as one of the largest employers and educators of young men and women. As such, it has had a great influence in the lives of a large proportion of the U.S. population. Despite the potential impact of military service in later life, little research attention has focused on this topic, particularly in criminology. The few studies that have examined the relationship between military service and criminal behavior tend to have ignored pre-military characteristics, and results vary depending on the time period during which the sample served in the military. This study applies a life course framework to the question of how military service influences later criminal behavior. The main purpose of this research is to determine whether military service changes existing trajectories of criminal behavior and/or whether the military provides another setting for the continuation of pre-military behavior patterns. Other important considerations include selection into the military, the timing of military service in an individual's life, and the historical context of service. For example, do those who enter the military at an earlier age experience greater change in criminal behavior than those who enter later in life? Additionally, does the influence of military service on criminal behavior differ by historical context? To address these questions, this study uses four data sets; three birth cohorts (1942, 1945, and 1949) and the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth. Men in these samples served during different historical periods from the beginning of the Vietnam War to the early period of the all-volunteer force. Statistical methods were used to account for potential differences in selection and the presence of unobserved heterogeneity. Results suggest that there is an important influence of military service on later criminal behavior, but the specific direction of the effect depends on the historical period in which service occurred. In particular, serving in the military during the Vietnam era was related to reduced offending, and service during the volunteer era was related to increased offending. These results were significant even after controlling for race, education, socioeconomic status, age, and prior criminal behavior patterns.
- ItemAn Analysis of the Correlation Between the Attitude, Belief, Opinion, and Demographic Components of Voluntary Forfeiture of One's Fourth Amendment Constitutional Right in Order to Permit Police Officers the Use of New Concealed Weapons Detection Technology(2002) Vann, Diane Hill; Wellford, Charles; Criminology and Criminal Justice; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md)The primary purpose of the study is to determine and analyze relationships between the major components of the participants ' opinions , attitudes , and beliefs as to the effectiveness and willingness of individuals to voluntarily forfeit their Fourth Amendment Constitutional rights to permit the use of the new Concealed Weapons Detection Technology ("CWDT"). The new CWDT, as described in his study is capable of performing hands-off, noninrusive body searches for contraband such as plastic explosives, drugs, and concealed weapons, specifically concealed guns. The study questions the Constitutionality of permitting police officers the use of such CWDT, and the Constitutionality of one's voluntary forfeiture of a Constitutional right to permit such use. Data collected for the study is from 100 residents of Madison, Wisconsin , and Washington, D.C., aged 18 years or older. The study analyzes Frequencies, Crosstabs, Chi Square, and Pearson's(r) and Spearman's(r5). The study although conducted before September 11, 2001, found that crime and terror remain great oppressors in the Nation , and that citizens are desperate for a resolution. The study reveals that the great majority of the study participants consider CWDT a positive solution.
- ItemAn Analysis of the Correlation Between the Attitude, Belief, Opinion, and Demographic Components of Voluntary Forfeiture of One's Fourth Amendment Constitutional Right in Order to Permit Police Officers the use of New Concealed Weapons Detection Technology(2002) Vann, Diane Hill Esq.; Wellford, Charles; Criminology & Criminal Justice; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, MD)The primary purpose of the study is to determine and analyze relationships between the major components of the participants' opinions, attitudes, and beliefs as to the effectiveness and willingness of individuals to voluntarily forfeit their Fourth Amendment Constitutional rights to permit the use of the new Concealed Weapons Detection Technology ("CWDT"). The new CWDT, as described in this study is capable of performing hands-off, non-intrusive body searches for contraband such as plastic explosives, drugs, and concealed weapons, specifically concealed guns. The study questions that Constitutionality of permitting police officers the use of such CWDT, and the Constitutionality of one's voluntary forfeiture of a Constitutional right to permit such use. Data collected for the study is from 100 residents of Madison, Wisconsin, and Washington, D.C., aged 18 years or older. The study analyzes Frequencies, Crosstabs, Chi Square, and Pearson's (r) and Spearman's (rs). The study although conducted before September 11, 2001, found that crime and terror remain great oppressors in the Nation, and that citizens are desparate for a resolution. The study reveals that the great majority of the study participants consider CWDT a positive solution.
- ItemRACE AND SENTENCING: MAKING SENSE OF THE INCONSISTENCIES(2003-11-07) Mitchell, Ojmarrh; MacKenzie, Doris L; Wellford, Charles F; Wilson, David B; LaFree, Gary; Criminology and Criminal JusticeNumerous sentencing studies have addressed the question: Are racial/ethnic minorities treated more harshly in comparison to similarly situated whites? Several authors have attempted to review this voluminous and diverse body of research using traditional qualitative narrative literature review techniques. It is my contention that these narrative reviews are of limited utility because of shortcomings inherent in qualitative literature reviews. Furthermore, typically these reviews do not focus primarily on explaining why the results of studies addressing this question diverge. To remedy these deficiencies in the literature, I utilize quantitative synthesis methods ("meta-analysis") that quantify the difference in sentencing outcomes between whites and minorities after controlling for legally relevant factors (i.e., criminal history and offense seriousness) in adult, non-capital cases processed in the United States. The meta-analytic procedure employed in this research more accurately determines whether unwarranted racial disparity exists in sentencing outcomes and estimates the magnitude of such disparity. Additionally, using coded information from each study and characteristics of the sentencing jurisdiction obtained from the U.S. Census, I attempt to explain why the findings from this body of research diverge. The results of this meta-analytic synthesis indicate that minorities were sentenced more harshly than whites. Differences in sentencing outcomes between these groups generally were statistically significant but statistically small (although not necessarily substantively small). Larger estimates of unwarranted sentencing disparity were found in analyses that examined drug offenses; larger estimates of unwarranted disparity were also found when researchers assessed sentencing outcomes relating to imprisonment decisions or discretionary decisions. Smaller estimates of unwarranted sentencing disparity were found in analyses that employed more control variables, especially those that controlled for defendant SES, utilized precise measures of key variables, or examined sentencing outcomes relating to length of incarcerative sentence. However, even when consideration was confined to those analyses employing key controls and precise measures of key variables, statistically significant but statistically small differences in sentencing outcomes persisted. These findings call into question the so-called "no discrimination thesis." Furthermore, at the structural level, unwarranted sentencing disparity did not vary in a manner consistent with conflict perspective's threat hypothesis.
- ItemIt's 3 p.m. Do You Know Where Your Child Is or What He/She Is Doing? An Exploratory Study on the Timing of Juvenile Victimization and Delinquency.(2003-12-15) Soulé, David Alan; Wellford, Charles; Criminology and Criminal JusticeIn recent years, after-school programs have received considerable public and policymaker support for their potential to reduce juvenile delinquency and victimization. In large part, this support stems from a series of recent reports, which indicated juvenile crime and victimization peaks during the after-school hours (Snyder et al., 1996; Snyder and Sickmund, 1999). However, much of the existing research suffers from a few key limitations. Utilizing self-report data collected from a sample of juveniles participating in an evaluation of after-school programs in Maryland, this study was designed to more clearly determine the timing of juvenile victimization, delinquency, and substance use by addressing some of the key limitations of previous research. In general, the results of the current study present a somewhat different picture of the timing of juvenile offending behavior. The examination of the aggregated measures indicated juvenile victimization and delinquent was most prominent during the school hours, while substance was elevated during the weekend. Notably, an examination of the individual offenses revealed more variation in the timing of juvenile victimization and delinquency. The more serious violent offenses for both victimization (e.g. victim of an aggravated assault) and delinquency (e.g. involvement in gang fights) were elevated during the after school hours, while simple assaults offenses (for both victims and delinquents) were overwhelming most prominent during school hours. This finding suggests that one undesirable side effect of grouping youths together for schooling is an increase in simple assault crimes. In addition, the current study revealed the greatest percentage of substance users reported using cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, alcohol, and marijuana during the weekend hours. However after controlling for the actual amount of time available to use these substances in each time period, cigarette and smokeless tobacco use was slightly more elevated during the after-school hours than during the weekend hours, while alcohol and marijuana use were most prominent during the weekend hours. In sum, earlier studies that either examined a single offense or aggregated crime measures were misleading because the timing of crime varies considerably by type of crime. Implications for policy and future research are discussed.
- ItemSchool Dropout and Subsequent Offending: Distinguishing Selection From Causation(2004-02-17) Sweeten, Gary Allen; Bushway, Shawn D; Laub, John H; Paternoster, Raymond; Criminology and Criminal JusticePast research on the relationship between school dropout and offending is inconclusive. In explaining findings, researchers have focused on strain and control theories, and have been unable to rule out selection effects. A key advance in understanding the effect of high school dropout is disaggregation by reason for dropout. Waves one through five of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 is used to answer the question: Does dropout have a causal impact on offending? Dropouts are divided into four groups depending on reason given for dropout: personal, school, economic and other. Estimation of a random effects model indicates that dropout for school reasons and "other" reasons causes a small temporary increase in the frequency of offending whereas dropout for personal or economic reasons does not affect frequency of offending. It also shows that youths who drop out for school reasons have higher rates of offending across all five waves.
- ItemIS GENDER MEDIATING THE EFFECTS OF AFTER-SCHOOL PROGRAMS?(2004-04-15) Bryner, Sean L; Gottfredson, Denise C; Criminology and Criminal JusticeDo gender differences exist in determining the effects of after-school programs as a crime prevention device? Using data from the 1999-2000 year of the Maryland After-School Community Grant Program, this study tests for an interaction between gender and participation in after-school programs in predicting self reported problem behavior. Separate analyses were conducted for elementary (n=358) and middle school students (n=440). In general, middle school students participating in the programs reported lower levels of problem behavior than comparison group students. Coefficients from a linear regression model failed to support the hypothesis that an interaction occurred between program participation and gender. This was true in both the elementary and middle school samples. Males and females received the same the benefits from participating in the after-school programs.
- ItemUnderstanding Delinquency Among Maltreated Youth in Maryland(2004-04-27) yancey, christina lynn; Wellford, Charles; Criminology and Criminal JusticeThe objective of this study was to improve upon researchers' understanding of the maltreatment-delinquency relationship. Within this study we examined differences among youth in Maryland with confirmed records of maltreatment and delinquency between 1998 and 2002. We tested three hypotheses in a series of six logistical regression models. The hypotheses were: characteristics of the maltreatment event influence the likelihood of delinquency; the intervention of the Department of Human Resources influences the likelihood of delinquency as the next point of contact; and the intervention of the Department of Juvenile Justice influences the likelihood of chronic delinquency. Our evidence supported the intended relationships. However, the data suggest that the relationships between the variables were contingent upon the sequencing of the interactions. While our data had many limitations, the findings from this study suggest that both the sequencing of interactions and the governmental intervention are important to understanding a link between maltreatment and delinquency.
- ItemCan the general theory of crime account for computer offenders: Testing low self-control as a predictor of computer crime offending(2004-05-07) Foster, David Robert; Simpson, Sally S; Criminology and Criminal JusticeUsing self-report measures of attitudinal and behavioral self-control, this study tests the applicability of Gottfredson and Hirschi's theory of low self-control as it applies to self-reported computer crime offending among a college student sample. Computer crime was found to be relatively common, with more than ninety-five percent of the sample reported having engaged in some form of illegal computer activity. The results offer moderate support for Gottfredson and Hirschi's general theory of crime, finding direct and positive effects for self-control and opportunity on computer offending, but not for the interaction between self-control and opportunity. The prevalence of computer-related offending is discussed in the context of the growing need to address the serious and widespread nature of computer crime. The study concludes by discussing the empirical and theoretical fit between the components of low self control, opportunity, and computer crime, as well as directions for future research.
- ItemA Typological Approach to Exploring Pathways for Rapists, Child Molesters and Incest Offenders(2004-05-12) Harris, Danielle Arlanda; Dugan, Laura; Criminology and Criminal JusticeThis research assumes offense specialization and distinguishes between rape, child molestation and incest. I hypothesize that child molesters will reveal the earliest age of onset (self-reported age of first sexually aggressive behavior) when compared to rapists and incest offenders respectively. Second, I hypothesize that sexual risk factors (pornography exposure and use) will characterize a specific pathway to child molestation and non-sexual risk factors (poor peer associations and substance use) will be more relevant in rape and incest pathways respectively. A descriptive univariate analysis supports the first hypothesis and a principal components factor analysis supports the second hypothesis. Child molesters are indeed characterized by a high rate of exposure to and use of pornography and rapists are more likely than other sexual offenders to use drugs and alcohol and to have extensive criminal histories. Incest offenders are distinguished by their 'social competence' and by variables criminologists consider to be 'protective' factors.
- ItemTESTING THE GENERALIZABILITY OF SAMPSON AND LAUB'S LIFE-COURSE THEORY: EXAMINING THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ADULT SOCIAL BONDS AND DRUG USE AMONG AN AFRICAN AMERICAN SAMPLE(2004-05-12) Fox, Danielle Polizzi; Laub, John H; Criminology and Criminal JusticeIn 1993, Sampson and Laub found that high quality bonds to employment and marriage redirect offending pathways, net of early criminal propensity among a sample of 500 delinquent and 500 non-delinquent white males living in Boston. The current research explores the generalizability of Sampson and Laub's (1993) findings using Ann Brunswick's Harlem Longitudinal Study of Urban Black Youth. Using the first three waves of the dataset, two main research questions are posed: 1) Is there a relationship between adult social bonds and drug use frequency?, and 2) Is there a relationship between the change in adult social bonds and the change in drug use when controlling for unobserved individual heterogeneity? The effects of the social bonding variables in this study do not provide consistent support for Sampson and Laub's theory. The ordinary-least squares regression results indicate that there is a significant relationship between adult social bonds and drug use in early adulthood in the direction predicted by the underlying theory. In later adulthood, the strongest predictor of drug use frequency is the prior wave's measure of drug use frequency. The first-differences analysis reveals no significant relationships between the changes in social bonds during adulthood and changes in drug use frequency during the same period. There are no consistent interaction effects uncovered in the data across the two analytic techniques and the drug-specific results mimic those uncovered using the composite measure of drug use frequency. The mixed results from this research may be due to omitted variable bias, low variation in the social bonding variables of interest, how the social bonding variables are measured, or characteristics of the study and the sample population. While no consistent effect for education, employment, or marriage is found to explain changes in drug use frequency over time, supplemental analyses reveal that church is significantly and inversely related to drug use frequency in adulthood. This finding is consistent with Sampson and Laub's life course theory. Beyond education, employment, and marriage, religion may serve as an institution that is able to strengthen ties and bonds to conventional society and modify drug use trajectories in adulthood.
- ItemDisentangling Selection from Causation in the Empirical Association between Crime and Adolescent Work(2004-08-05) Apel, Robert; Paternoster, Raymond; Criminology and Criminal Justice; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)Researchers consistently find that youths who work longer hours during high school tend to have higher rates of crime and substance use. On the basis of this and other research showing the negative developmental impact of an "intensive" work commitment during high school, the National Research Council (1998) recommended that federal lawmakers place limits on the maximum number of hours per week that teenagers are allowed to work during the school year. However, recent empirical research demonstrates the possibility of severe bias due to failure to control for unobserved sources of heterogeneity. I take advantage of two unique characteristics of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 to assess the veracity of the claim that longer work hours are causally related to elevated involvement in crime and substance use. First, since the same respondents are followed over a period of five years, I use individual fixed effects to adjust for the omission of relevant time-stable covariates. Second, I exploit state-to-state variation in the restrictiveness of child labor laws governing the number of hours per week allowed during the school year, and the fact that these restrictions are relaxed (and eventually expire) with increasing age. In this modelbased on a fixed-effects instrumental variables (FEIV) estimatoridentification of the "work intensity effect" on problem behavior is predicated on exogenous within-individual variation in school-year work hours attributable to the easing of child labor restrictions as youths age out of their legal status as minors. The attractiveness of the FEIV estimator is its ability to eliminate bias in the estimated "work intensity effect" due to omitted stable and dynamic variables. The model thus provides an especially powerful test of the thesis that intensive employment during the school year causally aggravates involvement in problem behavior. The empirical results demonstrate that longer work hours are associated with a significant decrease in adolescent crime, contrary to virtually all prior research. The results for adolescent substance use are mixed, suggesting the possibility that longer work hours either increase or have no effect on substance use, depending on whether a fixed-effects or first-differences procedure is implemented.
- ItemIS GRADE SPAN ASSOCIATED WITH THE LEVEL OF PROBLEM BEHAVIOR AMONG EIGHTH GRADERS? AN EXPLORATORY INVESTIGATION(2004-12-03) Rasmussen, Gina Ann; Gottfredson, Denise; Criminology and Criminal Justice; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)In spite of two waves of grade reorganization in American schoolsthe Junior High and Middle School movementsand the increase of problem behavior in schools, little empirical evidence exists pertaining to the effects of grade spanthe range of grades making up schoolson adolescent problem behavior. Utilizing a nationally representative sample that estimates the amount of problem behavior in and around schools, the present study employs a series of multiple regression analyses to examine the influence of grade span, and several control variables, on eighth-grade student problem behavior. Focusing on social learning theory, it is hypothesized that eighth graders who attend schools with older adolescents have more problem behavior than those who do not. Positive peer association is hypothesized to mediate the effect. Results revealed no effects between grade span and problem behavior. However, due to data limitations further research is recommended. Reasons for no effects are discussed.
- ItemThe Relationship between Gambling and County-Level Crime(2005-04-06) Betsinger, Sara; Wellford, Charles F; Criminology and Criminal Justice; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)Despite the rapid spread of various forms of legal gambling across the United States since the late 1980s and early 1990s, very little research has effectively examined the existence of a relationship between gambling and crime. Most of the research in this field has focused exclusively on cities with large gambling industries consisting of multiple casinos. Additionally, the effects of different types of gambling venues on county-level crime rates have been neglected in previous research. This study examines: 1) the impact of the introduction of gambling venues in general on county-level crime rates, and 2) the impact of different types of gambling venues on county-level crime. Findings for both parts of the study are mixed. The opening of gambling venues in general is associated with significant decreases in rape and assault rates; at the same time, gambling venues are found to lead to significant increases in larceny and arson rates.
- ItemUnderstanding the Mechanisms Responsible for the Positive Impact of After-School Programs(2005-04-27) Courtney, Shannon; Gottfredson, Denise C; Criminology and Criminal Justice; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)After-school programs have gained considerable attention for their potential to reduce delinquency after school. The current study assessed the factors related to effective after-school programming utilizing survey data from a recent evaluation of after-school programs. Program participation was responsible for reducing property, violent, and general offending, but not substance use. Further analysis concluded that the hypothesized increase in parental supervision, increase in positive peer influence, and reduction in unsupervised time were insufficient to explain the ability of after-school programs to elicit behavioral improvements. After-school programs were also found to be equally effective for youth from high and low income families.