South African adolescents' explanations for juvenile delinquency.

Graham Tyson, Christopher Stones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Research in other parts of the world suggests that adolescents invoke a multiplicity of causes to explain juvenile offending. The extent to which the different explanations are endorsed appears partly to be a function of cultural and demographic characteristics. The aim of this study was to investigate South African adolescents' explanations for delinquency and to examine cultural differences in these explanations. A total of 554 secondary school pupils from two Eastern Cape high schools rated 39 explanations for juvenile offending on a Likert scale. Principal component analysis and a varimax rotation of the responses identified seven factors ' Home Environment, Antisocial Tendency, Influencability, Social Control, Emotional Adjustment, Deprivation and Social Alienation. The results showed that there were large differences between the Black and White learners in terms of the perceived importance of a number of the explanatory causes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalSouth African Journal of Psychology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2002


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