Understanding adolescent property crime using a delinquent events perspective

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9 Scopus citations


This qualitative research employed an integrated symbolic interactionist/cultural studies framework to guide its focus on 24 male adolescent offenders' perceptions of their involvement in delinquent events characterized by the commission of property crimes. Adolescents were asked to describe the situations within which their crimes were embedded, including what they were thinking and feeling throughout the course of the delinquent event. Results indicated that adolescents committed property crimes for thrills, to cope with stressors, to defend their gang, and for economic gain. In particular, each motive was associated with a certain set of interactions and conditions, which served as cues to guide the adolescents' interpretive process and eventual meaning construction. The relation between this process and the larger culture is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)581-610
Number of pages30
JournalDeviant Behavior
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law


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