The article under review is interesting in the sense that it focuses on the association between age and delinquent companions along with the element of delinquency itself. The theories and concepts addressed in the ‘theoretical background’ section of the study include Thornberry’s interactional theory suggesting the impact of ‘delinquent peer associations’ as an incrementing factor during the period of ‘middle adolescence’ (Field & Mears, 2002, p.21). While Field and Mears point out the lack in the theory as it does not provide the ‘focus on general rather than specific measures of offending’ (Field & Mears, 2002, p.21).
This is the reason, as we note, that the interactional theory is explained in the literature review section but it does not support any of the findings. Mears and Field, however, attempt to ‘draw on research by Warr (1993 to 1996)’ in their hypothesis regarding the particular types of offenses to trace the extent of relationship between age and peer (Field & Mears, 2002, p.21). The notion presented by Warr tends to support the findings of the study as the researchers base their hypothesis on Warr’s ideas as he reported that the rate of group violation is higher for drug offenses than the other ones (Warr, 1996). Warr aso used the data from the National Youth Survey to ‘examine delinquent groups, with special attention to the identity and and role of instigators in those groups’ (Warr, 1996, p.11). The researchers state the purpose of the study directly in the beginning which is helpful to develop an understanding of the research as they state that ‘the present study’ attempts to explore ‘more directly the precise linkages among age, peer association, and delinquency’ (Field & Mears, 2002, p.20). They adopt an analytic approach to examine their assumptions or hypotheses.
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