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Class and Self-Reported Juvenile Delinquency: Evidence From Turkey

NCJ Number
Journal of Criminal Justice Volume: 34 Issue: 3 Dated: May/June 2006 Pages: 237-249
Ozden Ozbay
Date Published
May 2006
13 pages
This study examined the link between social class and self-reported juvenile delinquency of various types in Ankara, Turkey.
None of the social class measures in the study were consistently significant across the dependent variables of total delinquency, assault, school delinquency, and public disturbance. No support was found for a link between these dependent variables and the following social-class variables: mother's educational level, father's unemployment status, type of neighborhood where middle school was finished, non-ownership of car and home, and socioeconomic status. The most surprising finding was the lack of association between socioeconomic status and delinquent acts. Except for the presence of a broken family and the size of the household, such control variables (variables typically related to delinquency) as age, gender, family supervision, school commitment, religiosity, alcohol use, and delinquent friends were associated with delinquent acts. Among all of the independent variables, family supervision, school commitment, use of alcohol, and delinquent friends were the most consistent variables related to delinquency. Data for the study came from a sample of 1,710 high-school students in the central district of Ankara, Turkey, in June 2001. The data-collection instrument was a self-reported questionnaire. The dependent variables covered various delinquent acts: hitting other students; using force on teachers; damaging school property; school truancy; cheating on exams; being late for class; fist-fighting; using force on students; carrying a knife or other weapon; being involved in gang fights; attacking someone; being loud, rowdy, or unruly in a public place; throwing things out of a moving car; purposely damaging lawns and trees; and sexual harassment. 3 tables and 70 references