Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Social Work

Major Professor

John S. Wodarski

Committee Members

William R. Nugent, Jenny Jones, Lois Presser


This study examined how social control factors might contribute to delinquent behavior (status and criminal offenses) among African American and Caucasian females using Hirschi’s 1969 model of social control. Secondary data was used from the Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods (PHDCN). Data were used for African American and Caucasian girls from Wave I, resulting in a sample of 837. The results indicated that the social control variables did not decrease status offenses with the exception of involvement, which had a negative statistically significant relationship. There were no differences among the races. When looking at criminal offenses, results indicated that there was a statistically significant relationship for attachment and commitment, but not in the predicted direction. Involvement and belief were the only statistically significant variables and they were in the predicted negative direction. An interaction was detected between race-by-belief, race-by-involvement, and race-by- commitment, but only race-by-involvement was in the predicted direction. Further research is needed testing this model.

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