Cultural differences in adolescent's perceptions of the seriousness of delinquent behaviours

Graham Tyson, Carol Hubert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


In the light of the debate in recent times on crime and ethnicity, this paper examines cultural differences in the perception of the seriousness of delinquent behaviours. A total of 907 adolescents attending high schools in metropolitan NSW participated in the study and rated the perceived seriousness of 26 behaviours. Based on self-reported cultural group membership, participants were classified as belonging to either a collectivist (Asian) or individualistic (Australian) cultural group. Comparisons between the two groups indicated cultural differences in the ratings of seriousness. There was a consensus between the groups regarding the relative seriousness of the most serious offences, but overall the adolescents categorised as collectivist tended to rate the delinquent behaviours more seriously than those categorised as individualistic. There were also notable differences on the ratings and ranking of some behaviours with acceptance of some behaviours decreasing with age in the collectivist group.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)316-323
Number of pages8
JournalPsychiatry, Psychology and Law
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2003


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