CitationAdedokun, Omolola A. & Owens, Timothy J. (2008). An examination of the reciprocal effects of self-esteem and delinquency: Does gender matter?. 2008 Add Health Users Conference. Bethesda, MD: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Carolina Population Center.
AbstractUsing data from Waves I and II of the Add Health dataset, this study examines the reciprocal relationship between self esteem and delinquency with a specific comparison of how the relationships differ by gender. The hypotheses were: (1) the reciprocal effects of self esteem and delinquency would be significant and negative in both directions thus forming a mutually reinforcing cycle, (2) the reciprocal effects would be stronger for boys than for girls, and (3) self esteem would be a weaker predictor of delinquency than delinquency is of self esteem. Three types of variables were used: (1) variables of key interest, i.e., self esteem and delinquency, (2) instrumental variables that are expected to exercise direct effects on one of a pair of reciprocally affected variables but not on the other, and (3) control variables (e.g., race). To test the hypotheses and to legitimately make direct gender comparisons of the structural parameters, we employed a multigroup (“stacked”) full information maximum likelihood structural equation model of boys and girls via Amos 7.0. Contrary to our predictions, the results revealed no mutually reinforcing countervailing cycle for self esteem and delinquency, nor, obviously, was the cycle stronger for boys than for girls as predicted. The results are thus mixed. On one hand, our expectation that the effect of self esteem on delinquency would be significant and negative was not confirmed for either gender. On the other hand, and according to our prediction, the effect of delinquency on self esteem was negative and significant for boys. Further, the boys’ and girls’ parameters were not significantly different from each other.
Keyword(s)Crime & delinquency
Reference TypeConference proceeding
Book Title2008 Add Health Users Conference
Author(s)Adedokun, Omolola A.
Owens, Timothy J.