American Journal of Criminal Justice

, Volume 42, Issue 2, pp 329–349 | Cite as

The Effect of Attachment and Self-Control on Status Offending among Puerto Rican High School Students

  • Lorna L. Alvarez-Rivera
  • Anne M. Price
  • Bobbie Ticknor


This study tests the cross-cultural applicability of Gottfredson and Hirschi’s general theory of crime and self-control theory by examining self-reported status offenses among a sample of Puerto Rican adolescents. Data come from a 2005 sample of 298 youth ages 14–19, representing both the public and private school systems in Puerto Rico. Using a series of multivariate regressions, three hypotheses were tested. First, low attachment to parents, schools, peers, and church will positively and significantly predict status offenses among both public and private students. Second, low self-control will positively and significantly increase status offenses among each group. Finally, the effects of attachment on offending will be mediated by self-control. Results show support for both social control theory (via institutional attachment) and general theory of crime (via self-control). Both the measures of attachment and self-control contribute to explaining status offenses. Self-control partially mediates the effects of attachment on status offenses.


Self-control Deviance Attachments 


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Copyright information

© Southern Criminal Justice Association 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lorna L. Alvarez-Rivera
    • 1
  • Anne M. Price
    • 1
  • Bobbie Ticknor
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminal JusticeValdosta State UniversityValdostaGeorgia

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