Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

M.C.J. in Criminal Justice

First Advisor

D'Andre Walker

Second Advisor

Abigail Novak

Third Advisor

Kimberly Kaiser


University of Mississippi

Relational Format



Social control theory suggests that having strong social bonds to a society prevents individuals from engaging in delinquent acts. Consistent with the main assumption of this theoretical framework, the current study assesses whether having a weak bond to school, specifically, school disengagement, impacts violent behavior among adolescents. The current study also assesses whether gender and race/ethnicity moderate the relationship between school disengagement and violence involvement. Data used in this study were obtained from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescents to Adult Health public-use data (N = 6,045). Results show that school disengagement is a significant predictor of violent behavior among adolescents. Recommendations for theory, research, and social programs for adolescents are discussed.

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