Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Criminology and Criminal Justice

First Advisor

Burruss, George


AN ABSTRACT OF THE THESIS OF CHARLES ALAN PAYNE II, for the Masters of Arts degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice, presented on April 29, 2016, at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. TITLE: DOES SOCIAL LEARNING THEORY PREDICT DELINQUNECY DIFFERENTLY ACROSS URBAN, RURAL, AND SUBURBAN AREAS? MAJOR PROFESSOR: Dr. GEORGE BURRUSS The purpose of this study is to examine whether social learning theory predicts delinquency differently across urban, rural, and suburban areas. The lack of research in this area is problematic because while there are known differences between urban, rural, and suburban offending patterns, there is a lack of evidence to suggest why these patterns occur. The results of the study show that differential association, definitions, and differential reinforcement were significant across all three geographic locations. However, when analyzed by geographic location, differential reinforcement was only significant in suburban areas. In fact, differential reinforcement was the strongest predictor of delinquency in suburban areas, when differential association was the strongest in urban and rural.




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