ERIC Number: ED204688
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Jun
Competing Conceptions of Delinquent Peer Relations.
Hansell, Stephen; Wiatrowski, Michael D.
Both social ability and social disability models of delinquent peer relations have been developed to explain the social relations of delinquents. A key difference between these models is the assumption of normal social relations among delinquents in the social ability model, contrasted to the social ineptitude and lack of social skills attributed to delinquents under the social disability model. From these competing premises, many hypotheses about delinquent social relations on a number of selected dimensions of network structure can be made. Based on the social ability model, delinquents are expected to have stable, reciprocated choice dyads, high transitivity in triads, and small, distinctive cliques with well-defined boundaries, clear status hierarchies and discernible leaders. These cliques are isolated and inaccessible to non-delinquent influences. Under the social disability model, delinquents are expected to have transient, unreciprocated relationships. Incapable of managing the complex exchange relations necessary to maintain stable cliques, delinquents have large, indistinct cliques with ambiguous status hierarchies. Leaders are less powerful, have limited influence, and change frequently. Testing of these hypotheses requires a new empirical approach based on the comparative analyses of delinquent and non-delinquent peer relations. (Author/NRB)
Publication Type: Reports - General; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Johns Hopkins Univ., Baltimore, MD. Center for Social Organization of Schools.