Advisor(s)

Ineke Marshall

Contributor(s)

Carlos Cuevas, Gregory Zimmerman

Date of Award

5-2013

Date Accepted

5-2013

Degree Grantor

Northeastern University

Degree Level

Ph.D.

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department or Academic Unit

School of Criminology and Criminal Justice. College of Social Sciences and Humanities.

Keywords

Coercion, Self-efficacy, Social support, Violent crime

Disciplines

Criminology | Social Control, Law, Crime, and Deviance

Abstract

Both coercion and social support have been included in theoretical explanations of participation in criminal behavior and it is generally hypothesized that coercion causes crime while social support prevents crime. In an attempt to better clarify relationships between coercion, social support, and offending, Colvin, Cullen, and Vander Ven put together their Differential Social Support and Coercion Theory. The current study examines the underlying causal mechanism that drives these relationships. Instead of simply describing the strength and form of the relationships between coercion, social support, and offending, the current study seeks to further explain how the relationships actually work, especially when additional variables (in particular self-efficacy) are introduced. It does so by addressing three research questions: (1) What are the implications of experiencing coercion in multiple settings in terms of participation in violent crime? (2) What is the role of self-efficacy in the relationship between coercion and violent crime? and (3) What is the role of social support as it relates to coercion, self-efficacy, and violent crime?

Longitudinal data from the Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods were used to test the direct effects of both coercion and social support on violent crime, as well as the mediating effect of self-efficacy on the relationship between coercion and violent crime. The study also tested the potential buffering effects of social support on the relationship between coercion and self-efficacy as well as the relationship between self-efficacy and violent crime.

Results from the analyses demonstrate support for the direct effect of coercion on violent crime as well as for the moderating effect of social support on the relationship between self-efficacy and violent crime. The study finds little support for the inclusion of self-efficacy in the relationship between coercion and violent crime, however, post hoc analyses did identify social support to be a robust predictor of self-efficacy. The study concludes with a discussion of theoretical and policy implications of the findings.

Document Type

Dissertation

Rights Holder

Christopher Eugene Bruell

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