Date of Award:

1986

Document Type:

Dissertation

Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department:

Sociology, Social Work, and Anthropology

Advisor/Chair:

Brian L. Pitcher

Co-Advisor/Chair:

Gary Kiger

Abstract

Utilizing longitudinal panel data from Youth In Transition Project, the Person-Environment fit (P-E Fit) theory and its specific application to the area of delinquency and aggression was investigated longitudinally. Analysis of Covariance Structure Technique (LISREL) was used to address the issues of multi-dimensionality, stability, measurement of total P-E fit and to test the proposed delinquency model. The relationships between P-E fit, psychological strain, and delinquency were tested both cross-sectionally and longitudinally . The student sub-group (those respondents who stayed in school after high school) and the working sub-group (those who went to work after high school) were tested separately. P-E fit had significant negative effect on both psychological strain and delinquency in most of the cross-sectional models. Similar results were obtained in three of the longitudinal models also . The evidence from longitudinal models tended to support the idea that the causal flow of the relationship between P-E fit, psychological strain and delinquency to be from P-E fit to both psychological strain and delinquency. The longitudinal and cross sectional relationship between P-E fit, psychological strain, and delinquency were more pronounced among the working sub-group than the student sub-group of the sample population. P-E fit tended to be quite stable during the high school years and subject to noticeable change when the transition was made to work or college environments.

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