Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name




Committee Chair

Schroeder, Ryan D.

Author's Keywords

Informal social control theory; Marriage; Marijuana use


Marriage; Marijuana--Social aspects; Married people--Attitudes; Social control


This thesis takes a gendered look at the criminological age-graded theory of informal social control, which posits that social bonds are strongly influential in curbing crime and deviance over the course of an individual's life. However, the theory was based on an all-male sample and is therefore not as applicable to women. It is likely that social bonds for men and women have evolved differently over the course of the last century and it is therefore the goal of this study to analyze how these changes are operating within this informal social control theory. Specifically, this paper analyzes marriage and its role in desistance from marijuana use. To study change over time, two generations of women were compared using two longitudinal studies. It was hypothesized that as the ideas and importance of marriage have evolved over time, marriage would become a weaker predictor of desistance for females in the second generation. However, as the findings indicate here, marriage remained significantly influential in desistance from marijuana use for both generations.