Peers, Interventions and Delinquency: Preventing Delinquency through Peer Processes

Michelle Hayes (2011). Peers, Interventions and Delinquency: Preventing Delinquency through Peer Processes PhD Thesis, School of Social Science, The University of Queensland.

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Author Michelle Hayes
Thesis Title Peers, Interventions and Delinquency: Preventing Delinquency through Peer Processes
School, Centre or Institute School of Social Science
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2011-05-01
Thesis type PhD Thesis
Supervisor Dr Christine Bond
Dr Rebecca Wickes
Total pages 238
Total black and white pages 238
Subjects 16 Studies in Human Society
Abstract/Summary This dissertation provides a unique analysis of the complex relationship between peers and delinquent behaviour. It does this by combining the findings of two studies. Using a quasi-experimental research design, the first study explores the impact of an intervention program developed to reduce delinquency through improving peer processes. Data was gathered from a self-report questionnaire, distributed to the treatment and control groups prior to, and following, an 8 week intervention program. The second study is based on qualitative analysis of interviews with 22 young people and provides a person-centred, nuanced analysis of their perceptions of peer influences and delinquency association. Results revealed a number of key findings. First, Study One revealed that whilst negative peer influence increased in prevalence for both the treatment and the control group, the intervention may have provided a buffer in the development of negative peer processes when compared with the control group. Second, findings from Study Two indicate that delinquent behaviour among fairly low level delinquents is a key mechanism to confer peer group status, particularly as a means to achieve peer approval and escape peer pressure. Third, results suggest the same broad peer dynamics predict males‟ and females‟ low level delinquent behaviour, yet this behaviour manifests differentially based on peer expectations of doing gender as evidenced in the accounts of respondents in face to face interviews. In particular, masculinity is operationalised, and mutually reinforced, via delinquent behaviour. Femininity is utilised to negate female participation in this behaviour. Finally, risk emerged as an important concept to distinguish how males and females perceived delinquency. The findings presented in this dissertation can be used to assist in developing future research regarding peer influence. It has implications for intervention programs and public policy targeting low-level delinquency among young people.
Keyword Peers
Additional Notes Landscape pages 229 - 236

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Created: Wed, 12 Oct 2011, 03:22:36 EST by Miss Michelle Hayes on behalf of Library - Information Access Service