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When disadvantaged adolescents strike out: the impact of negative metastereotypes on delinquency

When disadvantaged adolescents strike out: the impact of negative metastereotypes on delinquency Purpose – This paper aims to examine the impact of perceived negativity against the ingroup on delinquency in disadvantaged social groups. It is based on assumptions from labeling theory and social identity theory. Design/methodology/approach – The authors hypothesized that negative metastereotypes towards the outgroup “majority society” (i.e. the perception of the outgroup holding negative stereotypes against the ingroup) would enhance delinquent behavior. Based on recent findings from research on self‐esteem and aggression, the authors further hypothesized that self‐esteem would moderate this effect, namely that delinquency‐enhancement would be strongest for individuals high in self‐esteem. The hypotheses were tested in a sample of incarcerated adolescents ( n =225) and a sample of educationally disadvantaged adolescents ( n =92), respectively. Findings – Negative metastereotypes towards the “majority society” are positively related to delinquent behavior. This effect is particularly strong when disadvantaged individuals' positive self‐regard is high. Research limitations/implications – This research gives important, new insights on the basis of cross‐sectional, correlative data. Future research should aim to corroborate the findings by use of experimental or longitudinal designs. Originality/value – The paper shows that the perception of negative stereotypes against one's disadvantaged ingroup in society is a risk factor for delinquent behavior. It furthermore highlights how personality differences in self‐esteem influence this relationship. The research builds a bridge between criminological labeling theory and social‐psychological social identity theory. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Criminal Psychology Emerald Publishing

When disadvantaged adolescents strike out: the impact of negative metastereotypes on delinquency

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References (84)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2013 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
2009-3829
DOI
10.1108/20093821311307721
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – This paper aims to examine the impact of perceived negativity against the ingroup on delinquency in disadvantaged social groups. It is based on assumptions from labeling theory and social identity theory. Design/methodology/approach – The authors hypothesized that negative metastereotypes towards the outgroup “majority society” (i.e. the perception of the outgroup holding negative stereotypes against the ingroup) would enhance delinquent behavior. Based on recent findings from research on self‐esteem and aggression, the authors further hypothesized that self‐esteem would moderate this effect, namely that delinquency‐enhancement would be strongest for individuals high in self‐esteem. The hypotheses were tested in a sample of incarcerated adolescents ( n =225) and a sample of educationally disadvantaged adolescents ( n =92), respectively. Findings – Negative metastereotypes towards the “majority society” are positively related to delinquent behavior. This effect is particularly strong when disadvantaged individuals' positive self‐regard is high. Research limitations/implications – This research gives important, new insights on the basis of cross‐sectional, correlative data. Future research should aim to corroborate the findings by use of experimental or longitudinal designs. Originality/value – The paper shows that the perception of negative stereotypes against one's disadvantaged ingroup in society is a risk factor for delinquent behavior. It furthermore highlights how personality differences in self‐esteem influence this relationship. The research builds a bridge between criminological labeling theory and social‐psychological social identity theory.

Journal

Journal of Criminal PsychologyEmerald Publishing

Published: Mar 15, 2013

Keywords: Metastereotypes; Labelling; Delinquency; Aggression; Self‐esteem; Disadvantaged groups; Adolescence; Young adults; Social isolation

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