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Can Social Bonding Theory Explain Why The US Has Higher Crime Rates Than Other Nations - Essay Example

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Various studies have been conducted that support the principles promulgated by the social bonding theory specifically with regards to its use in explaining deviant behavior. Some of these studies have focused on specific groups of people. Shown below is a discussion of some of such empirical studies that have been conducted by various researchers whose results have helped forward the principles of the social bonding theory.
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Can Social Bonding Theory Explain Why The US Has Higher Crime Rates Than Other Nations
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Download file to see previous pages In the said research, the author studied 200 employees to determine how the elements of the social bonding theory can be used to determine the likelihood of the employees committing ethical misconduct. The results from the study conducted indicated that two of the four elements, namely attachment and involvement, may be utilized to provide a better understanding of how likely it is for employees to commit ethical rule breaking. (Sims, 2002) The results obtained from the study merely highlight the importance of the elements of the social bonding theory in explaining deviant behavior and in this case, ethical misconduct of employees.
Another study conducted focused on the effect of one's religiosity on his likelihood to be lead to delinquency. As earlier mentioned, belief is one of the four elements of Hirschi's social bonding theory. Subsequently, a central element in an individual's belief system is his religious affinity or belief. In a study conducted by Baier and Wright (2001), the ability of religious beliefs and behaviors to deter criminal behavior was analyzed. The authors of the said study conducted a meta-analysis of 60 previously conducted studies basing primarily on the following questions: (I) What is the direction and magnitude of the effect of religion on crime (II) Why have previous studies varied in their estimation of this effect The rationale behind the research was since previous studies provided inconclusive evidence regarding the relationship of crime and religious belief, it was highly significant to determine why such discrepancy exists and if indeed such a relationship between the two elements does exist.
The results of the study indicated that religious beliefs and behaviors exert a moderate deterrent effect on individuals' criminal behavior. This means that even in the littlest of ways, an individual's religiosity helps in preventing him from committing criminal acts. Likewise, the study found that previous studies have systematically varied in their estimation of the religion- on-crime effect due to differences in both their conceptual and methodological approaches.
The results of the study merely indicate that belief, as one of the elements of social control, indeed helps in preventing deviant behavior. Although religious beliefs may not be a strong deterrent as other elements, the results of the study only help explain how the elements of social bonding materialize.
Teenage Pregnancy
Although not considered as a criminal act, teenage pregnancy may be seen as a deviant behavior in that it does not conform to the norms of society. In a study conducted by Sandra Hofferth (1987), the various factors that influence sexual behavior among adolescents was analyzed. Both biological and psychosocial factors were studied to determine which factors helped contribute to sexual activity among adolescents.
Basically, the researcher found that among the social factors that influenced such behavior were cultural and subcultural differences. For instance, the author indicated that black females from the ages of 15 to 19 living in a poverty area of Chicago has a significantly higher rate of initial sexual intercourse than their peers ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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