An Empirical Investigation of Social Bonds and Juvenile Delinquency in Hong Kong

Wing Hong Chui, Heng Choon Oliver Chan

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

53 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Although there are studies that tested Hirschi's social bond elements with Asian samples in the past, however, no study has examined all his social bond elements. Objective: Therefore, this study aims to test all Hirschi's social bond elements with a sample of secondary educated male and female Hong Kong adolescents. Methods: A total of 1,377 adolescents (666 males and 711 females) aged between 12 and 17 years who are randomly selected out of nine selected secondary schools in Hong Kong are surveyed. In addition to descriptive and bivariate analyses, multivariate analyses are performed to examine the differential social bond effects in predicting the propensity to commit theft and violent crime among male and female adolescents, with and without controlling for their age. Results: Findings indicate that a strong belief in the legal system, a healthy parent-child bonding, and a strong school commitment are significant protective factors to prevent adolescents from engaging theft and violent delinquency. However, though not uncommon, the increased level of involvement in organizational activities is likely to result in the increase of propensity to involve in delinquent conducts. Conclusions: This study further offers several implications for social service that may benefit adolescents, by which an improvement of the police-youth relationship as a way to provide an accurate understanding of the criminal justice system, a healthy parent-child bonding, and a strong school commitment may reduce the adolescents' propensity to commit delinquent acts. Limitations and directions for future research are also outlined.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)371-386
Number of pages16
JournalChild and Youth Care Forum
Volume41
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2012
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Adolescent
  • Delinquency
  • Gender
  • Hong Kong Chinese
  • Social bond
  • Social control theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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