The Expression of Low Self-Control as Problematic Drinking in Adolescents: An Integrated Control Perspective

Document Type


Publication Date



In the past two decades, Gottfredson and Hirschi's (1990) self-control theory was widely tested, with ample empirical support that individual levels of self-control predict delinquency. The current study focused on social factors that condition the expression of self-control as delinquency-with specific attention given to the role of an adolescent's level of social attachments to adults. Concerning the type of delinquency, this study focused on applying established criminological theories to the issue of problematic drinking among adolescents. Using the Add Health survey of American adolescents, empirical tests supported the hypothesized conditioning effect of social attachments regarding the influence of self-control on problematic drinking. These findings suggest that theoretically and empirically addressing how social factors influence the expression of individual propensities could offer insight into the relationship between self-control and delinquency.