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Reintegrative Shaming and Predatory Delinquency

Zhang, Lening
June 4, 2015

Source: (2004) Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency. 41(4): 433-453.

This study represents an attempt to test Braithwaite’s theory of reintegrative shaming with an operationalization scheme of two variables—disapproval of delinquent behavior (shaming) and forgiveness of the transgressor (reintegration) by parents and peers. The study combines measures of delinquency disapproval and forgiveness of the transgressor by parents and peers to capture the concept of reintegrative shaming. Using data collected from the first two waves of the National Youth Survey, the study finds no effect of either parental reintegrative shaming or peer reintegrative
shaming on predatory delinquency in either wave when the effects of other important variables are held constant. However, the data reveal that parental forgiveness and peer shaming alone have significant and negative effects on the likelihood of being involved in predatory offenses in both waves. In contrast, peer forgiveness shows a significant and positive effect on predatory offense involvement in the first wave. The findings provide support to some elements of Braithwaite’s theory but not to the key hypothesis, assuming that reintegrative shaming is a significant predictor of predatory offenses. Implications of the findings and suggestions for future research are
discussed. Author’s abstract.


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