You are here: Home / People / Bill McCarthy / Publications / Money Changes Everything: The Personal Income of Adolescents and Their Tendency toward Delinquency

Bill McCarthy (2004)

Money Changes Everything: The Personal Income of Adolescents and Their Tendency toward Delinquency

Criminologie, 37(2):123--149.

Consumer capitalism dominates western society & most North American youth recognize the centrality of consumption & the resources it requires. As expected, many of them complain that they do not have the financial resources a contemporary teenage lifestyle requires. A shortage of funds may therefore increase the attractiveness of crimes that provide a financial return. Several theories of offending suggest that crime should decrease as adolescents' financial resources increase; yet, other approaches argue that money should have the opposite effect & predict that crime will increase with income. A third perspective maintains that economic resources have no effect on juvenile crime. We argue that economic capital plays an important role in crimes that provide a financial return, & that other factors condition this relationship. We also maintain that measurement issues compromise previous analyses of the effect of adolescent resources on offending. Our research indicates that a logged measure of adolescent resources (income & allowance) is negatively associated with involvement in theft & that gender & class condition this relationship: increases in economic resources appear to have the greatest consequences for offending among males & youth from the unemployed class. These findings suggest that financial resources play an important role in the genesis of crime, particularly among those groups that are most vulnerable to offending. 5 Tables, 54 References. Adapted from the source document.

*Employment, *Income, *Sociodemographic Factors, *Juvenile Offenders, *Larceny, *Consumerism, article, 2151: social problems and social welfare; juvenile delinquency
Wright, J P; Cullen, F T; Agnew, R S; Brezina, T. ``The root of all evil''? An exploratory study of money and delinquent involvement. JUSTICE QUARTERLY, 18. 2 (2001): 239-268. ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD

Document Actions

You are Here

1283 Social Sciences & 
University of California, 
One Shields Avenue 
Davis, CA 95616

(530) 752-0782 phone
(530) 752-0783 fax

Map and Additional Contact Information

Make a Gift

Giving matters at UC Davis. For more than a century, donors have been helping the university address the issues that matter most to California, the nation and the world.  The Department of Sociology is dedicated to achieving excellence. Your gift can help.

Make a gift