Date of Award


Degree Name

Criminal Justice


College of Science

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Dr. Richard H. Moore

Second Advisor

Dr. Samuel L. Dameron

Third Advisor

Dr. Margaret Phipps Brown

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Leonard J. Deutsch


For decades policymakers, among others, have assumed that involving juveniles in leisure/recreation somehow prevents them from engaging in misbehavior and/or leisure/recreation has rehabilitative value for delinquents. The belief seems to be that involvement in leisure/recreation changes juveniles so they will be less likely to engage in delinquent behavior in the future. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the relationship between delinquency and leisure/recreation by comparing samples of high school students with juveniles who were on probation for delinquent behavior.

There were three statistical comparisons made. First, statistical analyses were used to determine whether there were gender differences. Second, comparisons were made to determine if there were meaningful differences between delinquents and non-delinquents. Finally, how self-reported delinquent behavior related to leisure/activities was studied. Most impressive was the similarity between delinquents and nondelinquents in engaging in productive activities. In some comparisons, delinquents actually were involved in more productive activities. Either delinquent and nondelinquents do about the same number and kinds of productive acts, or the delinquents tended to be slightly more productive. The major difference between the two groups is that delinquents tend to do many more nonproductive activities. The present study does suggest delinquents were generally more active than nondelinquents. They engaged in a similar number of productive activities, but also engaged in nonproductive activities, including delinquent behavior. One possible explanation for the results is that there may have been a bias created by the delinquent population being in residential treatment programs instead of living in the community.


Juvenile delinquency – Comparative studies.



Juvenile delinquents.