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The Effects of Self-Esteem on Adolescent Delinquency over Time: Is the Relationship Linear?

  • Shu-Ping TzengEmail author
  • Chin-Chun Yi
Chapter
Part of the Quality of Life in Asia book series (QLAS, volume 2)

Abstract

Previous studies and programs are mainly based on a premise that low self-esteem is a risk factor of delinquency, and a linear relationship between self-esteem and delinquency is suggested. When adolescents’ self-esteem is enhanced, their engagement in delinquency would be lowered. This study attempts to determine whether the relationship between self-esteem and delinquency is linear or not when taking both low and high self-esteem into consideration. The study analyzes the 1st, 4th, and 7th waves of survey data of the J3 cohort of the Taiwan Youth Project (TYP) with a random-effects Poisson model. Results show that the relationship between self-esteem and delinquency is nonlinear. Although this study does not find significant differences in types of delinquent behaviors and academic performance for adolescents with high self-esteem and those with low self-esteem, the results clearly show that high self-esteem is not a protective factor of delinquency as research usually assumes. The mechanisms leading to delinquency for adolescents with high self-esteem and low self-esteem need further investigation.

Keywords

Item Response Theory Violent Behavior Delinquent Behavior Deviant Behavior Taipei County 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of CriminologyNational Chung Cheng UniversityChia-YiTaiwan
  2. 2.Institute of SociologyAcademia SinicaTaipeiTaiwan

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