The present article studies the interplay of exposure to delinquent peers and perceived sanction risk with regard to the formation of adolescent shoplifting delinquency. Two rival hypotheses are investigated. Situational Action Theory suggests that adolescents who have many delinquent friends are more responsive to perceived sanction risk, simply because they are more often exposed to a crime-encouraging moral context, which causes them to regard crime more frequently as a real action alternative. From Rational Choice Theory it is derived that adolescents who have few or no delinquent friends are more vulnerable to perceived sanction risk, simply because these individuals have more social costs following from criminal punishment to fear. Results from a large-scale cross-sectional shoplifting survey among Austrian adolescents provide more support for the interaction proposed by Situational Action Theory. Peer delinquency conditions the significance of perceived sanction risk, and sanction certainty perceptions are most predictive of personal shoplifting frequency among adolescents with high levels of delinquent peer association. These findings hold for both perceptual and peer-reported measures of friends' shoplifting delinquency.
|Translated title of the contribution||Abschreckung und Peer-Delinquenz – Interaktive Beziehungsdynamiken am Beispiel der Ladendiebstahlsdelinquenz junger Menschen|
|Number of pages||27|
|Journal||Monatsschrift für Kriminologie und Strafrechtsreform|
|Publication status||Published - Dec 2017|