Author ORCID Identifier

https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0113-2721

Year of Publication

2022

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

College

Agriculture, Food and Environment

Department/School/Program

Family Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Janet Stamatel

Second Advisor

Dr. Ronald Werner-Wilson

Abstract

Youths and adolescents are one of the major perpetrators of antisocial and deviant behaviors, which have deleterious consequences for both the perpetrators and society. Although there is extensive literature on youth and adolescent antisocial behavior, some correlates of youth antisociality are not known yet. As such, the present study is devoted to understanding the micro- and macro-level predictors of youth and adolescents’ antisociality in three contexts. Three empirical studies applying bioecological systems theory and analyzing data from the International Dating Violence database using Mixed Effects Models were conducted to investigate the ecology of the development of antisocial behaviors among youth.

The first study tested youth antisocial personality disorder symptoms (ASPD). The relative deprivation theory was used to test the macrosystem. Support was found for the interaction of different levels of environments. Results indicated that ASPD is higher among boys and has positive associations with age, childhood misconduct, depression, and socioeconomic status, and a negative association with nurturing parenting. The association between childhood misconduct and ASPD was stronger for girls; the influence of nurturing parenting and ASPD was stronger for boys; the influence of nurturing parenting was stronger for those with lower levels of depressive symptoms; the influence of depressive symptoms was higher for those living in economically unequal societies, while the influence of nurturing parenting is stronger in more economically and socially equal societies. The implications of the study are further discussed.

The second study tested interpersonal violence. The cultural spillover theory was used to test the influence of the macrosystem on interpersonal violence. Support was found for the interaction of different levels of environments. Results indicated that interpersonal violence is higher among boys and has positive associations with childhood aggression, violent peers, violent parenting, and violence approval. Self-control was shown to have a negative association with interpersonal violence. State violence had a significant indirect effect on interpersonal violence through both violent parenting and violence approval. Militarization had a significant effect on interpersonal violence through violence approval. The implications of the study are further discussed.

The third study tested youth theft behavior. The institutional anomie theory was used to test the influence of the macrosystem on theft behavior. Support was found for the interaction of different levels of environments. Results indicated that theft behavior is higher among boys and those with lower self-control; the influence of delinquent peers is higher for boys and those with lower self-control; the influence of nurturing parenting is higher in the presence of higher economic inequality and lower social integration; the influence of delinquent peers was higher in the presence of higher economic inequality; socioeconomic status decreases the theft behavior in the presence of low social integration and increases theft behavior in the presence of high social integration.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

https://doi.org/10.13023/etd.2022.58

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