Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)


Criminal Justice and Criminology

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Gregory Rocheleau

Committee Members

Michael Braswell, Larry Miller


The overrepresentation of racial and ethnic minorities in crime has been an issue of debate. Some evidence, however, has shown that racial differences in offending are largely accounted for by economic disadvantage. Using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (n = 4,290), the relationship between race and delinquency was examined looking at social disorganization factors. It was hypothesized that there would be racial and ethnic differences in delinquency and that these differences would be accounted for by social disorganization factors, specifically collective efficacy and economic disadvantage. The results show that compared to White adolescents Hispanic adolescents have increased odds of nonviolent and violent delinquency, and Black adolescents have increased odds of violent delinquency. Contrary to expectations, social disorganization factors did not account for the racial and ethnic differences in delinquency. Unexpectedly, higher levels of collective efficacy actually increased the odds of violent delinquency.

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access


Copyright by the authors.