Title

The Effects of Athletic Participation and Self-Concept on Juvenile Misbehavior

Date of Award

5-1-1986

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Sociology

Abstract

Travis Hirshi's Social Control Theory proposes that delinquents fail to form or maintain a bond to society consisting of attachment, commitment, involvement, and belief. This study investigates the relationships that exist between athletic participation, self-concept, and juvenile delinquency. Four hundred twenty-eight completed questionnaires were obtained from students in grades seven through nine from Central Junior High School in East Grand Forks, Minnesota. Social Control Theory {attachment element) was examined as a viable predictor of differences in the relationship between elements of the bond, athletic participation, self-concept, and juvenile delinquency.

This study focuses on juvenile delinquency as it relates to the school. Factor analysis was us ad for data reduction. Creation of coefficients enabled the detection of patterns of relationships that existed in the data. Hypotheses tested were: juveniles move active in athletics will be less involved in juvenile delinquency; juveniles with high self-concepts will be less involved in juvenile delinquency; and juveniles with strong attachment bonds will be less involved in juvenile delinquency.

Following is a brief description of the relationships found in the data. Athletic participation was divided into two factors: athletics and extra-curricular activities. Higher involvement in athletics did not relate to lower involvement in juvenile delinquency. However, higher involvement in extra-curricular activities was shown to be related to lower involvement in juvenile delinquency. A slight influence was produced in support of the hypothesis.

Self-concept was also divided into two factors: positive self-esteem and negative self-esteem. Positive self-esteem produced slight evidence in support of the hypothesis. Those juveniles rated higher in self-esteem were found to be less involved in juvenile delinquency. Negative self-esteem did not support the hypothesis. Those juveniles rated higher in self-esteem were not found to be less involved in juvenile delinquency.

Evidence gained through analysis of the data in this stud- ovides support for the hypothesis that juveniles with otrong attachment bonds will be less involved in delinquency. All three (attachment to parents, attachment to school, and attachment to peers) aspects of the attachment element measured provided support for the hypothesis.

Suggestions for comprehensive educational programs and the fostering of better cooperation and coordination between parents and the school are presented. Prevention programs and recommendations for continued research in the area are also discussed.

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