Social Bonds as Predictors of College Student Willingness to Report Hazing

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Little is currently known about what factors influence a victim's willingness to report hazing experienced in higher education. This problem of hazing has largely been ignored by criminologists, despite anti-hazing statutes existing in many states. The present study aims to examine this problem through a criminological lens using Social Bonding Theory (SBT). SBT suggests that deviant behavior is more likely to occur when a person is poorly bonded to conventional society (Hirschi, 1969). This theory was originally intended to explain deviant behavior; however, this study investigates its utility in explaining reporting behavior of victimization. Data were collected from surveys administered at the University of Maryland (N = 56), utilizing vignettes to present hypothetical hazing situations and were analyzed using logistic regression. Results provide no support for the use of SBT to predict a student's willingness to report experienced hazing, as described in the vignettes. Limitations and implications are discussed.