Explaining the academic performance-delinquency relationship

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61 Scopus citations


We use data from the National Education Longitudinal Survey to examine the relationship between academic performance and delinquency. We estimate the effects of grades in tenth grade on delinquency in twelfth grade, and then introduce controls for social bonds and self-control (teacher-rated effort). The findings indicate that the feedback that adolescents receive in the form of grades does not affect their delinquent behavior, that academic performance and delinquency have instead a spurious relationship. Our evidence suggests that this relationship is attributable primarily to the effects of individual differences in self-control, not to those of social bonds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)299-320
Number of pages22
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Law


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