Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Criminology and Criminal Justice

First Advisor

Mullins, Christopher


This thesis critically reviews prior labeling theory research concerning juvenile delinquency and crime; it adds to current work by using contemporary data. Labeling events are described in detail to provide an overall understanding of where labels originate, who is casting the label, and what research suggests concerning different types of labels. An interactionist labeling model is tested to explain levels of juvenile delinquency among a nationally representative sample of American adolescents: the first three waves of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health). Finally, negative binomial regression models are estimated in order to better explain the dynamic relationship between labels and delinquency.




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