Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name


Department (Legacy)

Department of Justice Administration

Committee Chair

Higgins, George Edward

Author's Keywords

Race; Self-control theory; Offending; Parental management; Racial disparities


Self-control in children; Crime and race; Parent and teenager; Teenagers--Family relationships


This study seeks to examine whether racial disparities in offending can be explained through self-control theory. The study utilized longitudinal responses of a nationally representative sample of 1700 adolescents. Parenting and self-control measures are taken from the mothers supplemental survey and peer pressure and offending are taken from self-reports from the adolescents at a later time. Structural equation modeling was used to examine the racial differences in self-control theory. Both a measurement model and a structural model are presented. The results of the study find empirical support for the construct of self-control theory, even within the face of racial disparities. However, support was not found for the link between race and parenting and therefore does not show support for self-control theory's assumption that parenting can account for differences in offending across races. Both theoretical and policy implications are discussed.