RELIGION AND DELINQUENCY IN THE CONTEXT OF RACE AND PLACE

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2005-12-16

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This investigation examined the interaction between religion, race and urbanicity and their influence on delinquency. A sample of youth respondents ages 13-17 was drawn from ICPSR archival National Youth Survey data (Wave III) to examine the effect of these three independent variables on various forms of delinquent behavior. Given the lack of consensus in the literature regarding the effect of religion on delinquency, as well as on the effect of race and place on the exercise and influence of religious belief, this exploratory study sought to address questions raised by past research and improve on the designs of previous studies. Results showed direct effects of religiousness on all offense types examined, with religious salience exhibiting greater influence on delinquent behavior than participation overall. No interaction effects of religiousness by race or urbanicity were found. Implications of these findings for further research are discussed.

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