The Relationship between Delinquency and Drug Use

2005 Words Apr 10th, 2009 9 Pages
The Relationship between Delinquency and Drug UseIn my attempt to discover if delinquency and drug use, or the sale of drugs were correlated with one another, my research lead to a positive correlation, especially when there was gang membership involved. The theory I have chosen to tie in with my review of the articles I found is the social learning theory of Edwin Sutherland known as differential association theory. According to Britannica online, Sutherland 's differential association theory of delinquent behavior is learned from other persons who are also engaged in delinquent behaviors. Sutherland believes that a person becomes delinquent because of an access amount of exposure to the definitions of criminal behavior and the violation …show more content…
In order to determine if the respondent was an actual gang member as opposed to respondents that were members of informal gangs, the respondents was asked to reveal the name of the gang they were a member of. If the respondent did not answer with the name of the gang, that respondent was not considered an actual gang member and therefore not counted (Katz et. al.). The sample consisted of 939 juvenile arrestees, 81% male and 19% female. Within the sample, 25.7% were 14 years of age or younger, 20.3% were 15 years old and 54% were 16 years old or older (Katz et. al.). Gang affiliation / participation were rather high at 52% of all respondents.

The findings show that out of a total number of 451 from the sample size of 939, only 11.1% of the respondents that reported drug use or sale of drugs were not affiliated with any type of gang. Whereas 488, 52% of the sample size of 939 were members of, or affiliated with gangs. Of that 488, more than three-quarters reported using or selling drugs (Katz et. al. 2005)In a study conducted to measure the effects of the background and characteristics offenders, we can see how this study supports Sutherland 's theory. This study shows that background characteristics not only help to explain patterns of offending but also serve as a basis as important predictors of types of offending (Armstrong and Britt 2004). This study looks at many different
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