Article

Peer Networks and Crime

Dana L. Haynie and Derek A. Kreager

in The Oxford Handbook of Criminological Theory

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199747238
Published online December 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199747238.013.0013

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Peer Networks and Crime

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  • Theories of Crime
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Crime and delinquency have long been linked to peer and friendship relationships. Compared to children and adults, adolescents spend more time with friends, give them greater importance, and are more strongly influenced by their friends' behaviors and attitudes. This article investigates the role of friendship networks in adolescence. After discussing the theories that have been put forward to explain the role of peer networks for understanding crime, the article describes methodological considerations that must be addressed when studying the link between peers and delinquency. It then examines a number of research applications that have adopted a social network approach to better understand crime/delinquency. It also discusses how social networks are used to understand criminal behavior beyond adolescent delinquency.

Keywords: friendship; peer networks; social networks; delinquency; adolescence; crime; criminal behavior; friends; adolescents

Article.  7125 words. 

Subjects: Criminology and Criminal Justice ; Theories of Crime ; Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice

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