Advertisement

Journal of Quantitative Criminology

, Volume 27, Issue 3, pp 251–273 | Cite as

How Do They ‘End Up Together’? A Social Network Analysis of Self-Control, Homophily, and Adolescent Relationships

  • Jacob T. N. YoungEmail author
Original Paper

Abstract

Self-control theory (Gottfredson and Hirschi 1990) argues that individuals with similar attributes tend to ‘end up together’ (i.e., homophily) because of the tendency to select friends based on self-control. Studies documenting homophily in peer groups interpret the correlation between self-control, peer delinquency, and self-reported delinquency as evidence that self-control is an influential factor in friendship formation. However, past studies are limited because they do not directly test the hypothesis that self-control influences friendship selection, nor do they account for other mechanisms that may influence decisions. As a result, it is unclear whether the correlation between individual and peer behavior is the result of selection based on self-control or alternative mechanisms. To address this gap in the literature this study employs exponential random graph modeling to test hypotheses derived from self-control theory using approximately 63,000 respondents from 59 schools from the National Longitudinal Survey of Adolescent Health (Add Health). In contrast to the predictions made by Gottfredson and Hirschi (1990), and the conclusions drawn from prior research, there is little evidence that self-control influences friendship selection. The findings are embedded in past work on the relationship between self-control and peer relationships, and implications for future research are discussed.

Keywords

Self-Control Peer delinquency Homophily Social networks Add health Exponential random graph model 

References

  1. Arneklev BJ, Grasmick HJ, Bursik RJ Jr (1999) Evaluating the dimensionality and invariance of ‘low self-control’. J Quant Criminol 15:307–331CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Baron SW (2004) Self-control, social consequences, and criminal behavior: street youth and the general theory of crime. J Res Crim Delinq 40:403–425CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bearman P, Moody J, Stovel K (2004) Chains of affection: the structure of adolescent romantic and sexual networks. Am J Sociol 110:44–99CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Beaver KM, Wright JP, DeLisi M, Vaughn MG (2008) Genetic influences on the stability of low self-control: results from a longitudinal sample of twins. J Crim Justice 36:478–485CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Beaver KM, DeLisi M, Mears PD, Stewart E (2009) Low self-control and contact with the criminal justice system in a nationally representative sample of males. Justice Q 26:695–715CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Braithwaite J (1989) Crime, shame, and reintegration. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  7. Byrne D (1971) The attraction paradigm. Academic Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  8. Chapple CL (2005) Self-control, peer relations, and delinquency. Justice Q 22:89–105CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Doherty EE (2006) Self-control, social bonds, and desistance: a test of life-course interdependence. Criminology 44:807–833CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Evans TD, Cullen FT, Burton VS Jr, Dunaway RG, Benson M (1997) The social consequences of self-control: testing the general theory of crime. Criminology 35:475–504CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Frank O, Strauss D (1986) Markov graphs. J Am Stat Assoc 81:832–842CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Geyer CJ, Thompson EA (1992) Constrained Monte Carlo maximum likelihood for dependent data. J R Stat Soc Series B 54:657–699Google Scholar
  13. Gibson C, Wright J (2001) Low self-control and coworker delinquency: a research note. J Crim Justice 29:483–492CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Gibson CL, Wright JP, Tibbetts SG (2000) An empirical assessment of the generality of the general theory of crime: the effects of low self-control on social development. J Crim Justice 23:109–134Google Scholar
  15. Gile K, Handcock MS (2006) Model-based assessment of the impact of missing data on inferences for networks. Center for statistics and the social sciences working paper no. 66Google Scholar
  16. Glueck S, Glueck E (1950) Unraveling juvenile delinquency, Commonwealth Fund, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  17. Goodreau SM, Kitts JA, Morris M (2009) Birds of a feather, or friend of a friend?: using exponential random graph models to investigate adolescent social networks. Demography 46:103–125CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Gottfredson MR, Hirschi T (1990) A general theory of crime. Stanford University Press, Palo AltoGoogle Scholar
  19. Grasmick HG, Tittle CR, Bursik RJ, Arneklev B (1993) Testing the core empirical implications Gottfredson and Hirschi’s general theory of crime. J Res Crim Delinq 30:5–29CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Hagan J, McCarthy B (1998) Mean streets: youth crime and homelessness. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  21. Handcock MS (2003) Assessing degeneracy in statistical models of social networks. Center for statistics and the social sciences working paper no. 39Google Scholar
  22. Handcock MS, Gile K (2007) Modeling social networks with sampled or missing data. Center for statistics and the social sciences working paper no. 75Google Scholar
  23. Handcock MS, Gile K (2010) Modeling networks from sampled data. Annals of Applied Statistics forthcomingGoogle Scholar
  24. Handcock MS, Hunter DR, Butts CT, Morris M (2008) Ergm: a package to fit, simulate and diagnose exponential-family models for networks. J Stat Soft 24:1–29Google Scholar
  25. Hay C (2001) Parent, self-control, and delinquency: a test of self-control theory. Criminology 39:707–736CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Haynie D (2001) Delinquent peers revisited: does network structure matter? Am J Sociol 106:1013–1057CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Haynie D (2002) Friendship networks and delinquency: the relative nature of peer delinquency. J Quant Criminol 18:99–134CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Haynie D, Osgood W (2005) Reconsidering peers and delinquency: how do peers matter? Soc Forces 84:1109–1130CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Holland PW, Leinhardt S (1981) An exponential family of probability distributions for directed graphs. J Am Stat Assoc 76:33–50CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Houtzager B, Baerveldt C (1999) Just like normal: a social network study of the relation between petty crime and the intimacy of adolescent friendships. Soc Behav Pers 27:177–192CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Hunter DR (2007) Curved exponential family models for social networks. Soc Networks 29:216–230CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Hunter DR, Handcock MS (2006) Inference in curved exponential family models for networks. J Comput Graph Stat 15:565–583CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Hunter DR, Goodreau SM, Handcock MS (2008) Goodness of fit of social network models. J Am Stat Assoc 103:248–258CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Koehly LM, Goodreau SM, Morris M (2004) Exponential family models for sampled and census network data. Sociol Methodol 34:241–270CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Kossinets G, Watts DJ (2009) Origins of homophily in an evolving social network. Am J Sociol 115:405–450CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Lazarsfeld P, Merton RK (1954) Friendship as a social process: a substantive and methodological analysis. In: Berger M, Abel T, Page CH (eds) Freedom and control in modern society. Van Nostrand, New York, pp 18–66Google Scholar
  37. Longshore D, Turner S, Stein JA (1996) Self-control in a criminal sample: an examination of construct validity. Criminology 34:209–228CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Longshore D, Turner S, Stein JA (1998) Reliability and validity of a self-control measure: rejoinder. Criminology 36:175–182CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Longshore D, Chang E, Hsieh S, Messina N (2004) Self-control and social bonds: a combined control perspective on deviance. Crim Delinq 50:542–564CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. McGloin JM, Piquero AR (2010) On the relationship between co-offending, network redundancy and offending versatility. J Res Crim Delinq 47:63–90CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. McGloin JM, Shermer LO (2009) Self-control and deviant peer network structure. J Res Crim Delinq 46:35–72CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. McGloin JM, Pratt TC, Maahs J (2004) Rethinking the IQ-delinquency relationships: a longitudinal analysis of multiple theoretical models. Justice Q 21:603–635CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. McGloin JM, Sullivan CJ, Piquero AR (2009) Aggregating to versatility?: transitions among offender types in the short term. Br J Criminol 49:243–264CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. McPherson JM, Smith-Lovin L, Cook JM (2001) Birds of a feather: homophily in social networks. Ann Rev Sociol 27:415–444CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Meldrum RC, Young JTN, Weerman FM (2009) Reconsidering the effect of self-control and delinquent peers: implications of measurement for theoretical significance. J Res Crim Delinq 46:353–376CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Moody J (1999) The structure of adolescent social relations: modeling friendship in dynamic social settings. Ph.D. Dissertation, Department of Sociology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NCGoogle Scholar
  47. Nagin DS, Pogarsky G (2004) Time and punishment: delayed consequences and criminal behavior. J Quant Criminol 20:295–317CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Nooney JG (2005) Religion, stress, and mental health in adolescence: findings from add health. Rev Relig Res 46:341–354CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Ousey GC, Wilcox P (2007) The interaction of antisocial propensity and life-course varying predictors of delinquent behavior: differences by method of estimation and implications for theory. Criminology 45:313–354CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Parra GR, DuBois DL, Sher KJ (2006) Investigation of profiles of risk factors for adolescent psychopathology: a person-centered approach. J Clin Child Adolesc Psychol 35:386–402CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Paternoster R, Pogarsky G (2009) Rational choice, agency, and thoughtful reflective decision making: the short and long-term consequences of making good choices. J Quant Criminol 25:103–127CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Perrone D, Sullivan CJ, Pratt TC, Margaryan S (2004) Parental efficacy, self-control, and delinquency: a test of a general theory of crime on a nationally representative sample of youth. Int J Offender Ther Comp Criminol 48:298–312CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Piquero AR, Rosay AB (1998) The reliability and validity of Grasmick et al.’s self-control scale: a comment on Longshore et al. Criminology 36:157–173CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Piquero AR, MacIntosh R, Hickman M (2000) Does self-control affect survey response? Applying exploratory, confirmatory and item response theory analysis to Grasmick et al’.s self-control scale. Criminology 38:897–930CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Pratt TC, Cullen FT (2000) The empirical status of Gottfredson and Hirschi’s general theory of crime: a meta-analysis. Criminology 38:931–964CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Robins G, Pattison P, Kalish Y, Lusher D (2007) An introduction to exponential random graph (p*) models for social networks. Soc Networks 29:173–191CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Rubin DB (1976) Inference and missing data. Biometrika 63:581–592CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Schreck CJ, Stewart EA, Fisher BS (2006) Self-control, victimization, and their influence on risky lifestyles: a longitudinal analysis using panel data. J Quant Criminol 22:319–340CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Snijders TAB (2002) Markov chain Monte Carlo estimation of exponential random graph models. J Social Struct 3:1–40Google Scholar
  60. Snijders TAB, Baerveldt C (2003) A multilevel network study of the effects of delinquent behavior on friendship evolution. J Math Sociol 27:123–151CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Snijders TAB, Pattison PE, Robins GL, Handcock MS (2006) New specifications for exponential random graph models. Sociol Methodol 36:99–153CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Warr M (1996) Organization and instigation in delinquent groups. Criminology 34:11–37CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Warr M (2002) Companions in crime. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  64. Warr M (2007) The tangled web: delinquency, deception, and parental attachment. J Youth Adolesc 36:607–622CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Wasserman S, Pattison P (1996) Logit models and logistic regressions for social networks: I. An introduction to markov graphs and p*. Psychometrika 60:401–425CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Weerman FM, Smeenk WH (2005) Peer similarity in delinquency for different types of friends: a comparison using two different measurement methods. Criminology 43:499–523CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Weis J, Hawkins DJ (1981) Preventing delinquency. OJJDP, WashingtonGoogle Scholar
  68. Wright B, Entner R, Caspi A, Moffitt TE, Silva PA (1999) Low self-control, social bonds, and crime: social causation, social selection, or both? Criminology 37:479–514CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Wright BRE, Caspi A, Moffitt TE, Silva PE (2001) The effects of social ties on crime vary by criminal propensity: a life-course model of interdependence. Criminology 39:321–352CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA

Personalised recommendations