Can Akers’ Social Structure and Social Learning Theory Explain Delinquent Behaviors Among Turkish Adolescents?
Description: The aim of this study was to examine to what extent Social Structure and Social Learning Theory (SSSL) explains delinquent behaviors among Turkish adolescents. While Social Structure and Social Learning (SSSL) Theory have been examined quite frequently in the criminology and sociology literature, the present study is unique as it tests the theory in Turkey, a context with a mixed Islamic and Secular cultural structure. The data originates from a survey conducted in Istanbul in 2008 by the Icelandic Centre for Social Research and Analysis (ICSRA) under the auspices of their Youth in Europe project. The sample includes 2,445 Turkish high school students. The dependent variable includes a 13-item delinquency scale, and the independent variables consist of differential association, costs and rewards of differential reinforcement, definitions, imitation, differential location in the social structure, and differential social location of groups. The statistical analyses were conducted using a negative binomial regression approach. Results demonstrated that differential association (peer delinquency) is positively associated with delinquent behaviors among Turkish adolescents. In addition, there is a significant and positive relationship between norms/beliefs that favor delinquency and delinquent behaviors. Moreover, parental reaction, a measure of differential reinforcement, has a negative impact on delinquency. Imitation variables, which include witnessing an argument and witnessing violence in the family, also appear as significant predictors for delinquency. Gender is the only social structure variable significantly related to delinquent behaviors. Furthermore, results indicated that social learning variables mediated the relationship between social structure and delinquent behaviors. Policy implications and suggestions for further studies are also provided at the end of the dissertation.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Solakoglu, Ozgur