Communities and Delinquency

Charis E. Kubrin

in The Oxford Handbook of Juvenile Crime and Juvenile Justice

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780195385106
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Communities and Delinquency

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  • Criminology and Criminal Justice
  • Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice



The community or neighborhood in which juvenile lives constitute an important context and it influences juvenile delinquency. This article describes the role of communities in the production of delinquency. It begins by identifying community characteristics of importance and describes why researchers have most frequently been examining these. Following this, it discusses the various theoretical mechanisms proposed to account for the link between community characteristics and rates of delinquency. It then presents two critical weaknesses in the communities and delinquency literature, and explains how they have been addressed to some degree in contextual studies of delinquency. Furthermore, it reviews the main findings from the contextual effects literature. Finally, the article concludes by identifying more general issues that warrant attention in communities and delinquency studies and by charting some promising new directions for research.

Keywords: juvenile delinquency; community characteristics; delinquency literature; delinquency studies

Article.  6363 words. 

Subjects: Criminology and Criminal Justice ; Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice

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