Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice

2014 Edition
| Editors: Gerben Bruinsma, David Weisburd

Network Analysis in Criminology

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-5690-2_237



Criminological theories have focused on different aspects of social relationships to explain the role peers play in shaping delinquency. Control theory, as presented by Hirschi (1969), focuses on the strength of attachment between individuals to explain variation in delinquent outcomes. Conversely, influence theories, such as differential association theory (Sutherland and Cressey 1960), propose that delinquency is learned within intimate relationships that expose individuals to definitions favorable to law and norm violation. Unfortunately, most empirical tests of these competing perspectives rely on data from random samples that do not allow for the direct measurement of peer characteristics (e.g., peer delinquency) or the assessment of the structural characteristics (e.g., cohesion) of peer and friendship groups. Overcoming these limitations, a network approach to crime/delinquency takes into...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyThe Ohio State UniversityColumbusUSA
  2. 2.Department of SociologyUniversity of New MexicoAlbuquerqueUSA