An empirical test of self-control theory in Roma adolescents

Alexander T. Vazsonyi, Gabriela Ksinan Jiskrova, Albert J. Ksinan, Marek Blatný

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Purpose: The current study tested the applicability of self-control theory in Roma adolescents, one of the largest ethnic minorities in Europe; it compared mean levels in deviance measures and correlates (parenting and low self-control) in Roma versus non-Roma Czech youth. Methods: Questionnaire data were collected from Roma (n=239, 47.5% female, Mage=14.02) and non-Roma (n=130, 47.7% female, Mage=14.71) adolescents residing in the Czech Republic. Measures included maternal parenting processes, low self-control, and deviance (alcohol use, school misconduct, and theft). Results: Findings from SEM analyses provided evidence that perceived maternal support predicted lower deviance both directly and indirectly via low self-control, while perceived maternal conflict predicted lower self-control and higher deviance. No differences were found between Roma and non-Roma adolescents in mean deviance scores or in the links between parenting, low self-control, and deviance. Conclusion: Roma adolescents did not differ from ethnic Czech adolescents in rates of deviance or the developmental processes focused on age-appropriate indicators of deviance. Thus, this evidence further extends the reach of Gottfredson and Hirschi's seminal theoretical work to ethnic minorities outside of North America.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)66-76
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Criminal Justice
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We are grateful for the cooperation of all study schools, its administrators, and the students who completed the surveys. We would particularly like to thank Drs. Terezie Pilátová Osecká and Veronika Sobotková for their assistance in collecting the data. Data collection was supported in part by a Fulbright-Masaryk University Distinguished Chair in Social Studies fellowship to the first author.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier Ltd.


  • Cross-cultural
  • Deviance
  • Parenting
  • Roma
  • Romani
  • Self-control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law


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