social influencesIntroductionTwo of the major claims in life course research on crime are that effects of social controls and influences vary over time and that these effects are reciprocal
generating cumulative disadvantages over time (Catalano and Hawkins
1996; Sampson and Laub
1987; Thornberry et al.
2003). Although studies have investigated this claim
they tend to focus on variation and reciprocal effects of social influences (parents
because internal controls (self-control) are often not expected to vary during ado-lescence (for example
Gottfredson and Hirschi
1990; Hirschi and Gottfredson
1993; Pratt and Cullen
2000; Vazsonyi et al.
recent research has suggested that both social influences and internal controls play a role in these cumulative and time-varying processes (Hay and Forrest
2006; Na and Paternoster
2012). That is
a lack of social controls such as parental bonds can decrease internal controls throughout adoles-cence (Van Gelder et al.
which in turn further weakens parental bonds and increases the likelihood of delinquency (Na and Paternoster
this arti-cle examines an integrated dynamic model of criminal behavior over the life course
with a focus on the reciprocal and time-varying effects of social influences and internal con-trols on delinquency over adolescence.Specifically
we assess relative influences of parental bonds and delinquent peers on both self-control and delinquency over time. In addition
we test a key tenet of many life course developmental theories of crime
namely that these effects are age graded and reciprocal. In other words
the effects vary over time and social influences are expected to affect engagement in delinquency
which in turn affects social influences (for exam-ple
Sampson and Laub
1987; Thornberry et al.
2003). In order to do so
we use data from the Zurich Project on the Social Development from Childhood to Adulthood
which includes measures of social influences
and delinquency across key stages of adolescent development.Social influences and delinquencyAccording to social control theory (Hirschi
individuals who maintain strong bonds to social institutions are less likely to engage in delinquency (Sampson and Laub
1997). Bonds to parents and family and commitment and success in school are most important in adolescence (Thornberry et al.
2003). Affective (for example
social support) and infor-mal control elements (for example
monitoring and discipline) of these bonds place bounds on adolescentsâ behavior. Indeed
a lack of parental support
and attachment have been linked to engagement in delinquency in adolescence (for example
2015; Hoeve et al.
2012). Interactional theory proposes that adolescents who have