Journal article Open Access

Cyber Deviance among Adolescents and the Role of Family, School, and Neighborhood: A Cross-National Study

Udris, Reinis

K Jaishankar

The ever ubiquitous spread of information and communication technology (ICT) has enabled an increasing number of youth access to the Internet leading to a rise of illegal downloading and hacking problems (Cyber Deviance). To date most criminological studies on illegal downloading or hacking have focused on college samples and have been confined to a single city or country. This study, using data from the second International Self-Report Delinquency Study (ISRD-2), examined illegal downloading and hacking perpetration among adolescents from 30 countries around the world. Participants were 68,507 students attending high schools (7th, 8th, and 9th grade). Using gender, grade (proxy for age), and access to a computer at home as covariates the study examined parental control, attachment to family (relationships, family leisure and eating dinner together), self-control, attitudes towards violence, attachment and disorganization to school, and attachment, integration and disorganization of the neighborhood as possible predictors of illegal downloading and hacking. Regression analysis revealed that all of the independent variables with the exception of family leisure were significantly associated with either illegal downloading or hacking to a differing degree. The findings and their implications for future studies are discussed.

Files (274.6 kB)
Name Size
274.6 kB Download
  • Akers, R. L., Krohn, M. D., Lanza-Kaduce, L., & Radosevich, M. (1979). Social learning and deviant behavior: A specific test of a general theory. American Sociological Review, 44(4), 636-655. doi: 10.1177/0022427897034004005 Aoyama, I., Barnard-Brak, L., & Talbert, T. L. (2011). Cyberbullying Among High School Students. International Journal of Cyber Behavior, Psychology and Learning, 1(1), 25-35. doi: 10.4018/ijcbpl.2011010103 Avci, R., & GÜÇRay, S. l. S. (2013). The Relationships among Interparental Conflict, Peer, Media Effects and the Violence Behaviour of Adolescents: The Mediator Role of Attitudes towards Violence. Educational Sciences: Theory & Practice, 13(4), 2005-2015. doi: 10.12738/estp.2013.4.1950 Bachmann, M. (2010). The risk propensity and rationality of computer hackers. International Journal of Cyber Criminology, 4(1-2), 643-656. Barnes, G. M., Hoffman, J. H., Welte, J. W., Farrell, M. P., & Dintcheff, B. A. (2006). Effects of Parental Monitoring and Peer Deviance on Substance Use and Delinquency. Journal of Marriage and Family, 68(4), 1084-1104. doi: 10.1111/j.1741-3737.2006.00315.x Becker, H. S. (1963). Outsiders: Studies in the Sociology of Deviance. New York: The Free Press of Glencoe. Beebe, N. L., & Guynes, J. (2006). A Model for Predicting Hacker Behavior. Paper presented at the AMCIS 2006 Proceedings, Acapulco, Mexico. Berson, I. R., & Berson, M. J. (2005). Challenging Online Behaviors of Youth Findings From a Comparative Analysis of Young People in the United States and New Zealand. Social Science Computer Review, 23(1), 29-38. doi: 10.1177/0894439304271532 Birnbaum, A. S., Lytle, L. A., Hannan, P. J., Murray, D. M., Perry, C. L., & Forster, J. L. (2003). School functioning and violent behavior among young adolescents: A contextual analysis. Health Education Research, 18(3), 389-403. doi: 10.1093/her/cyf036 Bossler, A. M., & Burruss, G. W. (2011). The General Theory of Crime and Computer Hacking: Low Self-Control Hackers. In T. J. Holt & B. H. Schell (Eds.), Corporate hacking and technology-driven crime: Social dynamics and implications (pp. 38-67). Hershey, PA: IGI Global. Bradshaw, C. P., Sawyer, A. L., & O’Brennan, L. M. (2009). A social disorganization perspective on bullying-related attitudes and behaviors: The influence of school context. American Journal of Community Psychology, 43(3-4), 204-220. doi: 10.1007/s10464-009-9240-1 Burruss, G. W., Bossler, A. M., & Holt, T. J. (2012). Assessing the Mediation of a Fuller Social Learning Model on Low Self-Control's Influence on Software Piracy. Crime & Delinquency, 59(8), 1157-1184. doi: 10.1177/0011128712437915 Cernkovich, S. A., & Giordano, P. C. (1992). School Bonding, Race, and Delinquency. Criminology, 30(2), 261-291. doi: 10.1111/j.1745-9125.1992.tb01105.x Cluley, R. (2013). Downloading deviance: Symbolic interactionism and unauthorised file-sharing. Marketing Theory, 13(3), 263-274. doi: 10.1177/1470593113487189 Cornell, D. G., & Loper, A. B. (1998). Assessment of violence and other high-risk behaviors with a school survey. School Psychology Review, 27(2), 317-330. Crosswhite, J. M., & Kerpelman, J. L. (2012). Parenting and Children's Self-Control: Concurrent and Longitudinal Relations. Deviant Behavior, 33(9), 715-737. doi: 10.1080/01639625.2011.647597 Day, R. D., & Padilla-Walker, L. M. (2009). Mother and Father Connectedness and Involvement During Early Adolescence. Journal of Family Psychology, 23(6), 900-904. doi: 10.1037/a0016438 Donner, C. M., Marcum, C. D., Jennings, W. G., Higgins, G. E., & Banfield, J. (2014). Low self-control and cybercrime: Exploring the utility of the general theory of crime beyond digital piracy. Computers in Human Behavior, 34, 165-172. doi: 10.1016/j.chb.2014.01.040 Dornbusch, S. M., Erickson, K. G., Laird, J., & Wong, C. A. (2001). The Relation of Family and School Attachment to Adolescent Deviance in Diverse Groups and Communities. Journal of Adolescent Research, 16(4), 396-422. doi: 10.1177/0743558401164006 Eisenberg, M. E., Olson, R. E., Neumark-Sztainer, D., Story, M., & Bearinger, L. H. (2004). Correlations between family meals and psychosocial well-being among adolescents. Archives of pediatrics & adolescent medicine, 158(8), 792-796. Esping-Andersen, G. (1990). The Three Worlds of Welfare Capitalism. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Fulkerson, J. A., Story, M., Mellin, A., Leffert, N., Neumark-Sztainer, D., & French, S. A. (2006). Family Dinner Meal Frequency and Adolescent Development: Relationships with Developmental Assets and High-Risk Behaviors. Journal of Adolescent Health, 39(3), 337-345. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2005.12.026 Gordon, S., & Ma, Q. (2003). Convergence of Virus Writers and Hackers: Fact or Fantasy? Cupertine, CA: Symantec Security. Görzig, A., & Ólafsson, K. (2013). What Makes a Bully a Cyberbully? Unravelling the Characteristics of Cyberbullies across Twenty-Five European Countries. Journal of Children and Media, 7(1), 9-27. doi: 10.1080/17482798.2012.739756 Gottfredson, M. R., & Hirschi, T. (1990). A general theory of crime. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. Grasmick, H. G., Tittle, C. R., Bursik, R. J., & Arneklev, B. J. (1993). Testing the core empirical implications of Gottfredson and Hirschi's general theory of crime. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, 30(1), 5-29. doi: 10.1177/0022427893030001002 Griffin, K. W., Botvin, G. J., Scheier, L. M., Diaz, T., & Miller, N. L. (2000). Parenting Practices as Predictors of Substance Use, Delinquency, and Aggression Among Urban Minority Youth: Moderating Effects of Family Structure and Gender. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 14(2), 174-184. doi: 10.1037/0893-164x.14.2.174 Gunter, W. D., Higgins, G. E., & Gealt, R. E. (2010). Pirating youth: examining the correlates of digital music piracy among adolescents. International Journal of Cyber Criminology, 4(1&2), 657–671. Haynie, D. L., Silver, E., & Teasdale, B. (2006). Neighborhood Characteristics, Peer Networks, and Adolescent Violence. Journal of Quantitative Criminology, 22(2), 147-169. doi: 10.1007/s10940-006-9006-y Herrenkohl, T. I., Maguin, E., Hill, K. G., Hawkins, J. D., Abbott, R. D., & Catalano, R. F. (2000). Developmental Risk Factors for Youth Violence. Journal of Adolescent Health, 26(3), 176-186. doi: 10.1016/S1054-139X(99)00065-8 Higgins, G. E. (2005). can low self-control help with the understanding of the software piracy problem? Deviant Behavior, 26(1), 1-24. doi: 10.1080/01639620490497947 Higgins, G. E. (2006). Gender differences in software piracy: The mediating roles of self-control theory and social learning theory. Journal of Economic Crime Management, 4(1), 1-30. Higgins, G. E. (2007). Digital piracy, self-control theory, and rational choice: An examination of the role of value. International Journal of Cyber Criminology, 1(1), 33-55. Higgins, G. E., Fell, B. D., & Wilson, A. L. (2006). Digital piracy: Assessing the contributions of an integrated self‐control theory and social learning theory using structural equation modeling. Criminal Justice Studies, 19(1), 3-22. doi: 10.1080/14786010600615934 Higgins, G. E., & Makin, D. A. (2004a). Does social learning theory condition the effects of low self-control on college students’ software piracy. Journal of Economic Crime Management, 2(2), 1-22. Higgins, G. E., & Makin, D. A. (2004b). Self-control, deviant peers, and software piracy. Psychological Reports, 95(3 Pt 1), 921-931. doi: 10.2466/pr0.95.3.921-931 Higgins, G. E., & Wilson, A. L. (2006). Low Self-Control, Moral Beliefs, and Social Learning Theory in University Students’ Intentions to Pirate Software. Security Journal, 19(2), 75-92. doi: 10.1057/ Higgins, G. E., Wolfe, S. E., & Marcum, C. D. (2008). Digital Piracy: An Examination of Three Measurements of Self-Control. Deviant Behavior, 29(5), 440-460. doi: 10.1080/01639620701598023 Hinduja, S. (2007). Neutralization theory and online software piracy: An empirical analysis. Ethics and Information Technology, 9(3), 187-204. doi: 10.1007/s10676-007-9143-5 Hinduja, S. (2008). Deindividuation and Internet software piracy. Cyberpsychology and Behavior, 11(4), 391-398. doi: 10.1089/cpb.2007.0048 Hinduja, S., & Ingram, J. R. (2009). Social learning theory and music piracy: the differential role of online and offline peer influences. Criminal Justice Studies, 22(4), 405-420. doi: 10.1080/14786010903358125 Hirschi, T. (1969). Causes of Delinquency. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. Holt, T. J., Bossler, A. M., & May, D. C. (2012). Low Self-Control, Deviant Peer Associations, and Juvenile Cyberdeviance. American Journal of Criminal Justice, 37(3), 378-395. doi: 10.1007/s12103-011-9117-3 Holt, T. J., Burruss, G. W., & Bossler, A. M. (2010). Social learning and cyber-deviance: Examining the importance of a full social learning model in the virtual world. Journal of Crime and Justice, 33(2), 31-61. doi: 10.1080/0735648x.2010.9721287 Holt, T. J., & Kilger, M. (2008). Techcrafters and Makecrafters: A Comparison of Two Populations of Hackers. Paper presented at the 2008 WOMBAT Workshop on Information Security Threats Data Collection and Sharing. Huesmann, L. R., & Guerra, N. G. (1997). Children's normative beliefs about aggression and aggressive behavior. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 72(2), 408-419. doi: 10.1037/0022-3514.72.2.408 Ikramullah, E., & Cui, C. (2009). Parents matter: The role of parents in teens’ decisions about sex. Retrieved August 21, from Child Trends Jaishankar, K. (2008). Space Transition Theory of Cyber Crimes. In F. Schmalleger & M. Pittaro (Eds.), Crimes of the Internet (pp. 283-301). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. Jordan, T., & Taylor, P. (1998). A sociology of hackers. Sociological Review, 46(4), 757-780. doi: 10.1111/1467-954x.00139 Khoury-Kassabri, M., Benbenishty, R., Astor, R. A., & Zeira, A. (2004). The Contributions of Community, Family, and School Variables to Student Victimization. American Journal of Community Psychology, 34(3-4), 187-204. doi: 10.1007/s10464-004-7414-4 Knoester, C., & Haynie, D. L. (2005). Community Context, Social Integration Into Family, and Youth Violence. Journal of Marriage and Family, 67(3), 767-780. doi: 10.1111/j.1741-3737.2005.00168.x Kong, J., & Lim, J. (2012). The longitudinal influence of parent–child relationships and depression on cyber delinquency in South Korean adolescents: A latent growth curve model. Children and Youth Services Review, 34(5), 908-913. doi: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2012.01.020 Lapidot-Lefler, N., & Barak, A. (2012). Effects of anonymity, invisibility, and lack of eye-contact on toxic online disinhibition. Computers in Human Behavior, 28(2), 434-443. doi: 10.1016/j.chb.2011.10.014 Livingstone, S., & Helsper, E. (2007). Gradations in digital inclusion: children, young people and the digital divide. New Media & Society, 9(4), 671-696. doi: 10.1177/1461444807080335 Marshall, I. H., & Enzmann, D. (2012). Methodology and Design of the ISRD-2 Study. In J. Junger-Tas, I. H. Marshall, D. Enzmann, M. Killias, M. Steketee & B. Gruszczynska (Eds.), The Many Faces of Youth Crime (pp. 21-65). New York: Springer. McConville, D. W., & Cornell, D. G. (2003). Aggressive attitudes predict aggressive behavior in middle school students. Journal of Emotional and Behavioral disorders, 11(3), 179-187. doi: 10.1177/10634266030110030501 Morris, R. G., & Higgins, G. E. (2010). Criminological theory in the digital age: The case of social learning theory and digital piracy. Journal of Criminal Justice, 38(4), 470-480. doi: 10.1016/j.jcrimjus.2010.04.016 Musick, K., & Meier, A. (2012). Assessing causality and persistence in associations between family dinners and adolescent well‐being. Journal of Marriage and Family, 74(3), 476-493. doi: 10.1111/j.1741-3737.2012.00973.x Navarro, J. N., Marcum, C. D., Higgins, G. E., & Ricketts, M. L. (2014). Addicted to pillaging in cyberspace: Investigating the role of internet addiction in digital piracy. Computers in Human Behavior, 37, 101-106. doi: 10.1016/j.chb.2014.04.012 Nelson, B. (2014). Computer science: Hacking into the cyberworld. Nature, 506(7489), 517-519. doi: 10.1038/nj7489-517a Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. (2012). OECD Internet Economy Outlook. Retrieved from Osgood, D. W., & Anderson, A. L. (2004). Unstructured Socializing and Rates of Delinquency. Criminology, 42(3), 519-549. doi: 10.1111/j.1745-9125.2004.tb00528.x Osgood, D. W., Wilson, J. K., O'Malley, P. M., Bachman, J. G., & Johnston, L. D. (1996). Routine activities and individual deviant behavior. American Sociological Review, 61, 635-655. Prensky, M. (2012). Digital natives, digital immigrants. On the Horizon. MCB University Press, 1, 1-6. Rogers, M. K., Seigfried, K., & Tidke, K. (2006). Self-reported computer criminal behavior: A psychological analysis. Digital Investigation, 3, 116-120. doi: 10.1016/j.diin.2006.06.002 Saint-Arnaud, S., & Bernard, P. (2003). Convergence or Resilience? A Hierarchical Cluster Analysis of the Welfare Regimes in Advanced Countries. Current Sociology, 51(5), 499-527. doi: 10.1177/00113921030515004 Sampson, R. J., Morenoff, J. D., & Earls, F. (1999). Beyond social capital: Spatial dynamics of collective efficacy for children. American Sociological Review, 64, 633-660. doi: 10.2307/2657367 Sampson, R. J., Raudenbush, S. W., & Earls, F. (1997). Neighborhoods and Violent Crime: A Multilevel Study of Collective Efficacy. Science, 277(5328), 918-924. doi: 10.1126/science.277.5328.918 Schneider, S. K., O'Donnell, L., Stueve, A., & Coulter, R. W. S. (2012). Cyberbullying, school bullying, and psychological distress: a regional census of high school students. American Journal of Public Health, 102(1), 171-177. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2011.300308 Seigfried-Spellar, K. C., & Treadway, K. N. (2014). Differentiating Hackers, Identity Thieves, Cyberbullies, and Virus Writers by College Major and Individual Differences. Deviant Behavior, 35(10), 782-803. doi: 10.1080/01639625.2014.884333 Sen, B. (2010). The relationship between frequency of family dinner and adolescent problem behaviors after adjusting for other family characteristics. Journal of Adolescence, 33(1), 187-196. doi: 10.1016/j.adolescence.2009.03.011 Shaw, C. R., & McKay, H. D. (1942). Juvenile Delinquency and Urban Areas. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Skinner, W. F., & Fream, A. M. (1997). A Social Learning Theory Analysis of Computer Crime among College Students. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, 34(4), 495-518. doi: 10.1177/0022427897034004005 Spriggs, A. L., Iannotti, R. J., Nansel, T. R., & Haynie, D. L. (2007). Adolescent bullying involvement and perceived family, peer and school relations: Commonalities and differences across race/ethnicity. Journal of Adolescent Health, 41(3), 283-293. Sproull, L., & Kiesler, S. (1986). Reducing Social Context Cues: Electronic Mail in Organizational Communication. Management Science, 32(11), 1492-1512. doi: 10.1287/mnsc.32.11.1492 Stewart, E. A. (2003). School social bonds, school climate, and school misbehavior: A multilevel analysis. Justice Quarterly, 20(3), 575-604. doi: 10.1080/07418820300095621 Suler, J. R. (2004). The online disinhibition effect. Cyberpsychology and Behavior, 7(3), 321-326. doi: 10.1089/1094931041291295 Sykes, G. M., & Matza, D. (1957). Techniques of neutralization: A theory of delinquency. American Sociological Review, 22(6), 664-670. doi: 10.2307/2089195 Turgeman-Goldschmidt, O. (2005). Hackers' Accounts: Hacking as a Social Entertainment. Social Science Computer Review, 23(1), 8-23. doi: 10.1177/0894439304271529 Turgeman-Goldschmidt, O. (2008). Meanings that hackers assign to their being a hacker. International Journal of Cyber Criminology, 2(2), 382-396. Udris, R. (2014). Cyberbullying among high school students in Japan: Development and validation of the Online Disinhibition Scale. Computers in Human Behavior, 41, 253-261. doi: 10.1016/j.chb.2014.09.036 Vazsonyi, A. T., & Pickering, L. E. (2003). The importance of family and school domains in adolescent deviance: African American and Caucasian youth. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 32(2), 115-128. Wada, K., & Fukui, S. (1994). Prevalence of tobacco smoking among junior high school students in Japan and background life style of smokers. Addiction, 89(3), 331-343. doi: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.1994.tb00900.x Wiatrowski, M. D., Griswold, D. B., & Roberts, M. K. (1981). Social control theory and delinquency. American Sociological Review, 46(5), 525-541. doi: 10.2307/2094936 Williams, S. K., & Kelly, F. D. (2005). Relationships Among Involvement, Attachment, and Behavioral Problems in Adolescence: Examining Father’s Influence. The Journal of Early Adolescence, 25(2), 168-196. doi: 10.1177/0272431604274178 Wilmers, N., Enzmann, D., Schaefer, D., Herbers, K., Greve, W., & Wetzels, P. (2002). Jugendliche in Deutschland zur Jahrtausendwende: Gefährlich oder gefährdet? Ergebnisse wiederholter, repräsentativer Dunkelfelduntersuchungen zu Gewalt und Kriminalität im Leben junger Menschen 1998-2000. Baden-Baden: Nomos. Wilson, J. Q., & Kelling, G. L. (1982). Broken Windows. Atlantic Monthly(March), 29–38. Yar, M. (2005). Computer hacking: Just another case of juvenile delinquency? The Howard Journal of Criminal Justice, 44(4), 387-399. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2311.2005.00383.x Young, R., Zhang, L., & Prybutok, V. R. (2007). Hacking into the Minds of Hackers. Information Systems Management, 24(4), 281-287. doi: 10.1080/10580530701585823 Zhang, L., Young, R., & Prybutok, V. (2008). A Comparison of the Inhibitors of Hacking vs. Shoplifting. In S. Clarke (Ed.), Evolutionary Concepts in End User Productivity and Performance: Applications for Organizational Progress: Applications for Organizational Progress. Hershey, PA: IGI Global.
All versions This version
Views 7474
Downloads 99
Data volume 2.5 MB2.5 MB
Unique views 7272
Unique downloads 88


Cite as