Family social capital, family social bonds, and juvenile delinquency


Hoffmann, John P. & Dufur, Mikaela J. (2018). Family social capital, family social bonds, and juvenile delinquency. American Behavioral Scientist.


There is a long history in criminology of examining the effects of social bonds on criminal behavior. A similar conceptual framework that developed in sociology is social capital theory. Studies using these models have addressed the effects of parent?child relationships on adolescent behavior. However, social bond theory tends to predominate as an explanation of juvenile delinquency. We developed a comparative analysis of measures of family social bonds and family social capital using nationally representative data on youth (N = 6,432). Measurement models suggested that family social capital is a more parsimonious latent construct than family social bonds. Moreover, it is a more efficient predictor of delinquent behavior. Thus, we encourage criminologists to adopt family social capital as a promising concept and empirical variable in their quest to understand delinquent behavior.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Journal Title

American Behavioral Scientist


Hoffmann, John P.
Dufur, Mikaela J.

Year Published



July 10, 2018



Reference ID