Adolescent delinquency and diversity in behavior settings

Wim Bernasco*, Gerben JN Bruinsma, Lieven JR Pauwels, Frank M. Weerman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)
11 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose: This study aimed to test whether adolescents' delinquency is related to the geographic, functional and social diversity of the behavior settings that they are exposed to. Methods: Data were collected in a two-wave panel study amongst 616 adolescents. In the first wave, diversity was measured using a space-time budget interview recording their activities from hour to hour during four days. Self-control, morality, peer deviance, unsupervised peer activity, and parental supervision were measured using a self-report questionnaire. Delinquency was measured using self-report questions in the second wave. Results: The findings demonstrated that setting diversity is positively related to delinquency. For geographic and functional setting diversity, a substantial part of the positive association is independent of gender, age and the other explanatory variables. Conclusions: Adolescents' delinquency is not only affected by the overall contents of the settings that they encounter, but also by how much the content of settings varies over the course of the day.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)357-378
Number of pages22
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

We thank Per-Olof Wikstro¨m for sharing the questionnaire and the space-time budget interview
developed in the Peterborough Adolescent and Young Adult Development Study (PADS+), Beth
Hardie, Caroline Moul and Neema Trivedi for helping train our interview staff, and Kirsten
Grandia, Evelien Hoeben and Lieneke Spel for coordinating the data collection and managing
the fieldwork. Finally, we thank the anonymous reviewers for their insightful comments and useful

Research programs

  • ESL – Diversen Oud


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