The influence of low self-control on violent and nonviolent delinquencies: a study of male adolescents from two Chinese societies

Heng Choon (Oliver) Chan, Wing Hong Chui

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Low self-control is theorized to be a key correlate of delinquency. Using a nonadjudicated sample (N = 1057) from Hong Kong and Macau, the influence of self-control on self-reported violent and nonviolent delinquencies was investigated using Grasmick’s self-control scale. The influences of demographics and self-control on delinquency were also examined. Findings indicate that these adolescents are more likely to engage in overall delinquency, particularly violence, if they are older and if they are less educated. Age is the only demographic predictor of nonviolent delinquency. Risk-seeking behaviors and self-centeredness have significant influences on both violent and nonviolent delinquencies, while low frustration tolerance and preference for cognitive activities are only associated with an increased level of violent misconduct. These findings highlight the overall significant influence of self-control on adolescent delinquency in Chinese adolescents. Suggestions are offered to enhance adolescents’ self-control as a way to reduce their tendency to involvement in delinquent activities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)599-619
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Forensic Psychiatry and Psychology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 3 Sep 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • adolescent
  • delinquency
  • Hong Kong Chinese
  • Macau Chinese
  • offending
  • self-control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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