Economic Strain and Adolescent Violence. Are extracurricular activities a conditioning effect?
This article examines the extent to which participation in sports acts as a conditioning effect to the relationship between economic disadvantage and adolescent violent delinquency. Deriving hypotheses from general strain and social control theories, we use data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health to test if type of extracurricular activity participation diminishes the risk of economic disadvantage on violent delinquency. In support of social control theory, the direct effect of academic clubs and performing arts is negatively associated with adolescent violence. Additionally, analyses indicate that participation in contact sports decreases the relationship economic disadvantage and violent delinquency when other strain controls are added including race/ethnicity, family structure, lack of parental supervision, etc. Overall findings are expected of the social control conditioning effect of general strain theory.
Keywords:participation in sports, economic disadvantage, adolescent delinquency, social control theory,
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