Psychology Ph.D. Dissertations

A Model of Rural Delinquency: Collective Efficacy in Rural Schools

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)



First Advisor

Carolyn Tompsett (Advisor)

Second Advisor

Eric Dubow (Committee Member)

Third Advisor

Anne Gordon (Committee Member)

Fourth Advisor

Paul Johnson (Committee Member)


Social contexts have long been identified as having an impact on adolescent behaviors, including the neighborhood context. However, most literature examining neighborhood influences on juvenile behavior have focused on urban and semi-urban populations. When these urban-centric models are applied to rural populations, results are generally mixed, and oftentimes contradictory to patterns established in urban populations. The current study tested an alternative model for predicting juvenile problems behaviors in rural areas but examining the validity of previous conceptualized “neighborhood collective efficacy” in rural schools. Constructs similar to Sampson et al.’s (1997) neighborhood collective efficacy were found in this sample, and this construct was significantly negatively correlated to juvenile self-reported problems behaviors. As hypothesized, school collective efficacy was more strongly related to self-reported problem behaviors than neighborhood collective efficacy for this sample. Directions for future research and implications for policies are discussed.