First Advisor

Charles Tracy

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Urban Studies


Urban Studies and Planning




Shoplifting, Juvenile delinquency



Physical Description

ix, 128 leaves: ill. 28 cm.


Adolescent shoplifting has provoked limited and somewhat controversial perspectives within the sociological and psychological literature. These controversies center around the empirical variables used for analysis. A companion argument focuses on the subjective and objective measurement of these variables. This research explicated variables from the sociological literature to test their relationship, using multiple linear regression, to adolescent shoplifting behavior. These variables and situational stimuli were operationalized in a simultaneous model to demonstrate a proximate occurrence of the attitude-situation-behavior reciprocal. This reciprocal is a learning theory which suggests that direct and vicarious experiences accompanied by rewards and punishment, in one's environment, lead to the acquisition of specific beliefs, attitudes and behavior toward a situation. This research contends that beliefs and attitudes toward the situation, rather than the bonding, peer association and other factors, shape adolescent shoplifting behavior. The situational stimuli variables were perceived empirically as being the major reciprocal element that maximized and/or minimized the adolescent's attitude toward shoplifting. The reciprocals are expressed as: SF = f(B, PA, PA, PR, N, N, ATT, S, Age, Race). An anonymous self-report questionnaire was administered to N = 312 Portland adolescents ranging in ages between 13 and 17. These youths were sampled at various neighborhood youths service centers, mall stores and Fred Meyer. The S-R elicited the youths' perceptions and attitudes to the explicated dimensions of the variables. The research results confirmed the situational stimuli correlate for adolescent 'snitch' shoplifting. Statistical results validate the progressive involvement and drift propositions


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