Journal of Quantitative Criminology, Vol. 18, No.

4, December 2002 (ß 2002 )

Routine Activities and Deviant Behaviors: American, Dutch, Hungarian, and Swiss Youth1
Alexander T. Vazsonyi,2,7 Lloyd E. Pickering,3 Lara M. Belliston,4 Dick Hessing,5 and Marianne Junger6

The current investigation examined cross-national similarities and differences in routine activities, measures of deviance, and their relationship in representative samples of *7,000 adolescents aged 15–19 years (mean age: 17.5 years) from Hungary, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and the United States. For the majority of youth, most of their time was spent in solitary activities, followed by peer activities, community/sports activities, and family activities; Hungarian youth reported spending a much greater amount of time with the family than adolescents from other countries, while Dutch youth spent far more time in solitary activities than their peers. Rates of total deviance were remarkably similar for American, Dutch, and Swiss youth; Hungarian youth reported substantially lower rates than all other adolescents. Finally, findings indicated that routine activities accounted for 18% for males and 16% for females of the variance explained in total deviance. Furthermore, with the exceptions of alcohol and drug use, country had very little or no explanatory power in deviance. The current study suggests that the utility and the explanatory power of the routine activities framework replicates across national boundaries. KEY WORDS: deviant behavior; delinquency; routine activities; cross-cultural research.


Previous versions of this paper were presented at the First Annual Meetings of the European Society of Criminology in Lausanne, Switzerland (September, 2001) and the 53rd Annual Meetings of the American Society of Criminology in Atlanta, Georgia (November, 2001). 2 Department of Human Development and Family Studies, 284 Spidle Hall, Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36849. 3 Department of Human Development and Family Studies, Auburn University, Auburn, AL. 4 Department of Human Development and Family Studies, Auburn University, Auburn, AL. 5 Law Faculty, Erasmus University of Rotterdam, Rotterdam, The Netherlands. 6 Department of Psychology, Utrecht University, The Netherlands. 7 To whom all correspondence should be addressed at: Department of Human Development and Family Studies, Auburn University, 284 Spidle Hall, Auburn, Alabama 36849. E-mail:

0748-4518/02/1200–0397/0 ß 2002 Plenum Publishing Corporation


Vazsonyi, Pickering, Belliston, Hessing, and Junger

1. INTRODUCTION Based on the routine activities approach to crime and deviance (Felson and Cohen, 1979), criminologists (e.g., Riley, 1987) and developmentalists (e.g., Mahoney and Stattin, 2000) have examined the relationship between how youth spend their time and deviant or antisocial behavior. As recently noted by Osgood et al. (1996), surprisingly few empirical investigations have examined implications and basic premises of the routine activities framework for the relationship between routine activities and deviance (Agnew and Petersen, 1989; Hawdon, 1996, 1999; Osgood et al., 1996; Riley, 1987), although a larger number of studies have examined this framework for criminal victimization (e.g., Miethe et al., 1987). Furthermore, with very few exceptions (Swedish youth, Mahoney and Stattin, 2000 or English/Welsh youth, Riley, 1987), most work that has been completed in this area has relied on data from the United States. Unfortunately, this is very consistent with criminological research in general (for a discussion, see Barberet, 2001; Farrington, 1999a, 1999b). As pointed out by Gottfredson and Hirschi (1990), explanations of crime and deviance should be culture-free in the sense that the same explanatory frameworks, if powerful and generalizable enough, should also stand up to cross-cultural (within a country) and cross-national (between countries) comparative efforts (for this argument, see also Farrington, 1999a, 1999b; for an empirical study, see e.g., Vazsonyi et al., 2001). In fact, cross-national comparative work has the great advantage of providing a ‘‘naturally’’ large degree of diversity and variability with regard to individual, social, or institutional indicators (Howard et al., 2000). In a recent review on the current state of comparative criminology, Howard and colleagues (2000, p. 183) note that ‘‘self-report surveys at the cross-national level may eventually prove to be a valuable resource on offenders and patterns of delinquency,’’ acknowledging the value of such data for exploring potentially culture-free or ‘‘universal’’ patterns of behavior. Farrington (1999a) notes that though cross-national studies are important, they are very infrequent; nevertheless, they are perhaps one of the only tools to establish true generalizability of explanatory frameworks and theories across local conditions and contexts (for an empirical example, see Farrington and Loeber, 1999). Therefore, the primary focus of the current investigation was to further examine the routine activities explanatory framework using self-report data from four countries; more specifically, we were interested in testing whether the relationships between different types of routine activities (family, peer, solitary, and community) and various deviance measures were similar or different by country.

In fact. In this sense we suggest that the routine activities perspective contains elements of social control as elaborated by Hirschi (1969) when he spoke of ‘‘involvement’’ (for a recent empirical test of this idea. the authors refer to an offender with a ‘‘criminal inclination’’ (e. 1987). Although perhaps not specifically elaborated by these authors.g. p. 593) defined routine activities as ‘‘any recurrent and prevalent activities which provide for basic population and individual needs. in simple terms.’’ .’’ In effect. these controls effectively prevent crime. Gottfredson and Hirschi. by linking micro. while the structure of the community may influence the extent of peer group activity influencing crime. see Hawdon.’’ Whether individuals violate norms largely depends on the informal controls the individual encounters in society and in daily life.’’ by suggesting that individuals differ in their basic propensity to ‘‘get into trouble. (1978) provided novel ways of thinking about and explaining aggregate crime perpetration and victimization. that how and where we spend our time may impact whether we are victimized and whether we engage in norm-violating conduct or not8 (see also. Garfalo. independent of social or cultural context. and the absence of guardians capable of preventing violations. 20) specifically acknowledged self-control. 590).1. 403) suggested that ‘‘the routine activity approach might in the future be applied to the analysis of offenders and their inclinations as well. it is usually marked by the absence of violations. 1999) or ‘‘attachment to parents’’ and which Felson and Cohen termed ‘‘guardianship. p. Felson (1994. hence it is easy to overlook’’ (1979. the authors have argued. terming it ‘‘the self-control insight. For example. 1990). the structure of primary group activity may affect the likelihood that cultural transmission or social control of criminal inclinations will occur.’’ They further note that ‘‘though guardianship is implicit in everyday life. a person or object providing a suitable target for the offender. respectively. Felson and Cohen (1979) and Hindelang et al. and (3) in other activities away from home. Felson and Cohen (1979. in his later writing on the routine activity approach. p.’’ Furthermore. Background In seminal publications introducing the routine activities/lifestyles concepts. Felson and Cohen (1979. In fact. Felson and Cohen (1980. especially by going for the pleasure of the moment..and macro-level variables. it may also include the idea of low selfcontrol when.Routine Activities and Deviant Behaviors 399 1.’’ They also suggest that these activities ‘‘may occur (1) at home. for example. (2) in jobs away from home. we believe that implicit in this thinking and perspective are ideas similar to control theories. p. p. 8 In describing their original thinking about the routine activity approach. whatever their biological or cultural origin. 590) note ‘‘each successfully completed violation minimally requires an offender with both criminal inclination and the ability to carry out those inclinations.

. 2000. in other words. Hessing. 2000. Riley. 1996. Agnew and Petersen. Wittebrood and Nieuwbeerta. First. In turn.g. Fox and Sobol. the routine activities or lifestyles frameworks may be useful in gaining an understanding of how. It is precisely this variability we are interested in as we believe that variability in routine activities/lifestyles is associated with variability in deviant behaviors. unstructured and/or supervised vs. we consider it an important theoretical perspective which has inspired a good amount of recent empirical investigations (e. Agnew and Petersen. we briefly review some of the important empirical work that has focused on the relationship between routine activities and deviant behaviors. 2000.400 Vazsonyi. all work to date has used single item indicators of routine activities. games/crafts/hobbies. In their large-scale longitudinal investigation.g. housework. 1989). 1999. It is important to note here that no previous study has attempted to model the relationship between routine activities or leisure and deviance using a composite measure approach. we also suggest that the routine activities perspective is not necessarily a strong causal explanation. e. 1989. Hirschi (1969) suggested that we need not be concerned with what makes people deviant or criminal. or music/art. In this sense. and perhaps with whom individuals spend their time. the underlying premise of the routine activities idea can be traced to and may be related to control theories.g. and Junger Thus. In the following section. 1987. Second. the authors developed a model of routine activities and general deviance (perpetration) for late adolescents and young adults . individuals with weak attachments and/or a greater individual propensity to commit a norm-violating act may spend their time in systematically different ways than individuals who are less likely to commit a deviant act. how they spend their time. activities were examined as being either structured vs. and the ecological controls they encounter in their environment. Put differently. Mahoney and Stattin.. where. activities have been examined according to specific content (e. Previous Investigations The studies with most relevance to the current investigation have conceptualized routine activities in one of two main ways. because it simply focuses on explaining crime and victimization by examining the actors. Pickering..2.. Belliston. Perhaps one of the most rigorous studies in this area of research has been the one by Osgood and colleagues (1996). something Gottfredson (1981) has alluded to previously. In the strictest sense then. 1. this will allow a greater understanding of what contributes to individual tendencies to violate social norms and mores. 2000). we need to develop an understanding of what makes individuals conform or how they conform. Rather. Hawdon. rather. 1996). unsupervised by an adult (Mahoney and Stattin. Osgood et al.

One important implication of this is that ‘‘deviance-free measures’’ of routine activities may in fact account for less variance than suggested by the authors. Finally. They found that ‘‘the lack of structure leaves time available for deviance. age. routine activities accounted for 73% of the observed relationship between parental education and deviance. namely deviance. this ‘‘routine activity’’ was associated with all measures of deviance. other more structured activities outside the home. namely that ‘‘activities which involve the mutual pursuit of fun are more victimogenic’’ (p. In fact. although the authors make an explicit attempt to suggest that the measures of routine activities carried no connotations of the outcome of interest in their study. sex. explicitly excluding sustenance activities. . school. For example. a second issue in this study is the measurement of routine activities by single items. 85). For example. furthermore. regression models including 13 different structured and unstructured activities as well as age accounted for between 3% (other drug use) and 15% (criminal behavior. More specifically. The authors had also found this strong relationship between these activities and delinquent behavior. As pointed out earlier. More specifically. p. 651). they examined the relationship between a variety of routine activities (categorized as either unstructured activities outside the home. They were also able to demonstrate how routine activities conditioned the relationship between background variables (e. attending a party includes consuming alcohol and/or other illegal substances. or athome activities. Not surprisingly. and perhaps most importantly. perhaps even most adolescent and young adults in the United States. we believe that they did. this routine activity accounted for a very large proportion of the 1% to 10% of variance explained by unstructured activities in different measures of deviance.g. the presence of peers makes it easier to participate in deviant acts and makes them more rewarding.7%). ‘‘joy riding’’ and ‘‘attending parties’’ both inherently include potentially norm-violating conduct.Routine Activities and Deviant Behaviors 401 ages 18 to 26. an earlier study assessing the relationship between routine activities and victimization by Jensen and Brownfield (1986) resulted in the same finding. average across all five types of deviance: 8. it had the strongest association with the deviance measures across all 13 items with the exception of dangerous driving. Interestingly. this investigation also has some limitations that we would like to mention. We believe that forming composites or clusters of related activities to measure some behavioral aspect of how adolescents spend their time might provide more stable or consistent measurement. and the absence of authority figures reduces the potential for social control responses to deviance’’ (1996. or work) and several types of deviant conduct. and parental education) and measures of deviance. Consider party attendance: for many. Despite its great importance. grades..

An important limitation of this work was that routine activity was measured by two dichotomously coded variables based on (1) structured activity measures (e.402 Vazsonyi. did not report the amount of variance explained in deviance by routine activities which makes comparisons with Osgood et al.). The authors employed ANOVAs and. serious. hobby. for both males and females. The authors also found that this relationship was largely unchanged once they controlled for sex. Of the 265 activities recorded. sports. Pickering. passive entertainment. and the location where adolescents congregated. etc.’s study—similar in the amount of variance explained in delinquency or deviance.) and (2) youth recreation center membership which was considered unstructured. and Junger In a recent cross-sectional study of *700 Swedish adolescents by Mahoney and Stattin (2000). He found that individuals who reported a large amount of delinquent behaviors spent significantly less time at home and more time with large groups of peers than adolescents who reported few such behaviors. they found that these youth spent more time with older peers. Furthermore. Agnew and Petersen (1989) examined a similar set of questions based on a local American sample of 600 adolescents. Using open-ended interview data. spent less time in home-based .’s study challenging. Riley tested the notion that juvenile offending is primarily a group activity. each respondent indicated five ‘‘favorite ways of spending your free time’’ (1989. sports-noncompetitive. Riley (1987) completed interviews to ascertain the frequency of time spent with peers. they also found that these same youth experienced the least amount of parental monitoring in comparison to other youth. who they spent this time with.g. peers who did poorly in school. In effect. sports-competitive. however. Not surprisingly. peers who stayed out on the town at night. but different in that background variables had little or no explanatory power. and peers who had previously been picked up by the police. 338). These findings were both similar and different in comparison to Osgood et al. hanging out/loafing. Hessing.. such as vandalism. etc. age. are likely to occur away from parental supervision. some types of delinquency. therefore. the authors found that participating in unstructured leisure activities was most associated with antisocial behaviors. p. types of peer activities. Results suggested that the activity and the company youth kept accounted for 5% to 6% of minor. and the size of the home community. and total delinquency. Finally. music. ‘‘Offenders’’ often congregated in groups away from home. he found that females had lower rates of deviance due to less time spent in situations conducive to crime. church. This association was true of both males and females. He also measured self-reported delinquent behaviors. maternal and paternal education. Belliston. and how frequently they did so.g. the authors developed a typology of leisure activities (e. in another important effort based on *700 youth in England and Wales..

Routine Activities and Deviant Behaviors 403 activities. we believe that an examination of routine activities must also include the time after school during week days. especially in unstructured and unsupervised activities.g. therefore. the studies reviewed suggest that time at home and time spent pursuing personal interests or time in structured activities decreases the likelihood of deviant behaviors while spending time with peers. it was important to us to include measures of routine activities that did not include or imply norm-violating conduct. and the United States) and (b) middle and late adolescents ages 15 to 20 years. Sweden. It is important to point out that Riley (1987. p. and the United States). Second.. places youth at risk for deviant behavior. Although an important first step in attempting to understand the relationship between routine activities and deviance. Riley concluded that time spent away from home provided the context in which adolescent deviant activity occurs. and less time with parents. The importance of such a comparison lies in the fact that different cultures and countries are like natural experiments—youth do not live the same way in these national contexts and. 1. Though the reviewed studies contribute to our understanding of leisure and deviance in various countries (e. most of Riley’s findings were based on dichotomized (yes/no) frequency comparisons on offending (behavior). Together. . the comparative method provides an excellent medium to further test the routine activities–deviance relationship and whether it generalizes cross-nationally. two important limitations of this study include that Riley focused on Saturday leisure time which only constitutes a very small proportion of ‘‘free time’’ by adolescents that requires analysis. England/Wales. offending with peers (with whom).3. Based on our review. Switzerland. the Netherlands. no studies have directly examined the relationship between routine activities and deviance cross-nationally. or offending away from home (location).’’ Finally. namely whether ‘‘lifestyle or activity pattern analysis [is] simply another way of presenting what we already know about the relationship between delinquency predictors and involvement in crime. 347) also questioned the ‘‘causal value’’ of the routine activity framework. The Current Investigation The current investigation sought to extend this line of research in a number of important ways: (1) to reassess the relationship between adolescent routine activities and deviance using (a) large samples from four countries (Hungary. it must also include more complex analyses to fully examine the relation between routine activities and deviance.

assault. Pickering. The purpose of ISAD is to examine the etiology of adolescent problem behaviors and deviance using large representative samples from different countries (Vazsonyi et al. Consider the following—Americans cannot relate to theft of mopeds because there exist relatively few or no mopeds in the United States.. in other words. multisite investigation consisting of *8. see Appendix A).500 subjects from four different countries (Hungary. particularly by developing new or using existing measures that could be used cross-culturally without losing nuances or changing meanings. Switzerland. Questionnaires were administered to participants during a 1 to 2 hr period. 2001. theft. drug use. 1984).404 Vazsonyi. (3) to examine the importance of national context as a moderator of the routine activities–deviance relationship. For example. and the United States. Vazsonyi and Pickering. Swiss and Dutch youth know mopeds quite well as very many 14 year olds own one. general deviance. Procedure The data for this study were collected as part of the International Study of Adolescent Development (ISAD). The focus of the current study was to employ measurement in four distinctly different countries where previous local efforts can generally not be compared across national and cultural boundaries (for a discussion. a description of the ISAD project.1. alcohol use. A standard data collection protocol was followed across all study locations. Hessing. 2000). METHODS 2. Belliston. Much attention was given to the development of the ISAD survey instrument. while adolescents in all three European countries cannot understand ‘‘trying to cash a phony check’’ because checks are not used as payment currency in daily financial dealings. and total deviance). This included an evaluation of survey items as to whether they assessed a readily observable and ‘‘ratable’’ behavior in each of the countries included in the current study. scalar measures of deviance (ranging from vandalism. a multinational. school misconduct. and Junger (2) to assess the relationship between routine activities and deviance using a number of multi-item. Similarly. every American knows what ‘‘check writing’’ is quite well. studies have asked about deviant behaviors that are deviant in a specific national context. It was approved by a university IRB and consisted of a self-report data collection instrument which included instructions on how to complete the survey. the Netherlands. and assurances of anonymity and confidentiality. see Archer and Gartner. does country play an important role in explaining this relationship? 2. On the other hand. Aside from FBI and Interpol categories of index crimes reported in official data . but that are basically nonexistent in others.

Hindelang. JungerTas and Marshall.939 females (mean age ¼ 17:5.914 (82% of the total sample)..417 adolescents from four different countries (Hungary. medium-sized cities of similar size were selected for participation. this included schools for university-bound students (Gymnasium) as well as schools specializing in vocational/technical training for students in apprenticeships. n ¼ 1.315. the samples included high school students. 1999.291 were females (35 Swiss subjects did not identify their sex). 1988. 1981. Netherlands. have inherent short-comings and weaknesses. and university students (for a detailed description of the sample. However. n ¼ 2. In the United States. the American adolescents . and Weis.Routine Activities and Deviant Behaviors 405 sources. multi-factor scales that can reliably assess behaviors cross-nationally (for a discussion on deviance measures. We selected a common ‘‘age band’’ including 15 to 19 year olds for the current study across all country samples. n ¼ 1. Switzerland. 2001). n ¼ 2. The final study sample included n ¼ 1. and n ¼ 3.213).235 were males and n ¼ 1. Surveys were carefully examined by additional bilingual translators. In all locations.018. Farrington. and we realize that questionnaires. There were n ¼ 3. German. n ¼ 544 were males and n ¼ 242 were female (11 Hungarian subjects did not identify their sex).g. United States.913 males (mean age ¼ 17:5. and when translation was difficult or ambiguous. the current survey was translated from English into each of the target languages (Dutch. The Dutch adolescents were composed of n ¼ 495 males and n ¼ 540 females (5 Dutch subjects did not identify their sex). For each country. n ¼ 871. different schools were selected for participation to obtain representative samples of the general population. Of the Hungarian adolescents in the sample.2. see Vazsonyi et al. Finally. n ¼ 797 Hungarians. 2. Junger-Tas.516 Americans. Therefore.040 Dutch. n ¼ 4. multi-item. 1988. For the European samples. see Moffitt. this reduced the sample to n ¼ 6. consensus was used to produce the final translation. 1988). community college students. 62 participants did not identify their sex. and Hungarian) and back-translated by bilingual translators. whether used in a single country or multiple countries. Moffitt. Among the Swiss adolescents. we would also like to suggest that the validity and reliability of self report assessment tools have been well established previously (e. We need to acknowledge that using the self-report methodology has been debated for numerous decades. 1988). there exists very little work that has attempted to develop comprehensive.. Sample Valid data for this study were gathered from a total of N ¼ 8.561 Swiss. sd ¼ 1:3) and n ¼ 2. Hirschi. sd ¼ 1:4) in this sample.

In some of our regression analyses. 2. Hungarian. and deviance.406 Vazsonyi. Each category contained descriptions of sample jobs which would fit into each of them.3.3. Sex Subjects were asked to indicate their sex on a single item: ‘‘What is your gender?’’ Responses were given as 1 ¼ male and 2 ¼ female. The categories. 4 ¼ clerical staff. and Junger in the sample consisted of n ¼ 639 who were males. 2. Six categories collapsed from Hollingshead’s (1975) original nine categories and modified to be applicable in each of the four countries were specified that would readily map on professions found in each of the four study countries. or Dutch). Swiss. Social Class Subjects were asked to indicate the type of work performed by the primary wage earner in the family.2. 2 ¼ owner of a small business. this variable (national membership) was used as a dummy-coded predictor.3. and social class). 3 ¼ semi-professional. 2.4. professional. 2. Hessing. listed here with condensed descriptions. Belliston. Country Participants were each identified in the data according to their national membership (American. Age Participants were asked to indicate the month and year in which they were born.3.3. executive. and 6 ¼ laborer or service worker.1. skilled laborer.3. . Pickering. sex. and n ¼ 866 who were females (11 American subjects did not identify their sex). Responses were given by indicating the number of the category which contained the closest or most accurate description of the family’s primary wage earner’s job. Measures Subjects from all countries were asked to fill out the same questionnaire including demographic and background variables (age. 2. were as follows: 1 ¼ owner of a large business. routine activities. The 15th day of each respective month was used to calculate subjects’ specific ages. 5 ¼ semiskilled laborer.

A principal components exploratory factor analysis on these 8 items using varimax rotation yielded a solution of 3 factors with Eigenvalues greater than 1. contained items 2. (6) exercising. Next. named Family Activities. we differentially weighted the three items based on previous work by Csikszentmihalyi and Larson (1984. jogging.9 A quantitative measure of family time. Rather than using individual indicators. (2) watching TV alone. and 25. (3) doing homework or reading alone. (a) ‘‘On the average.5 based on the response to the weekend time item to assess a total measure of family time. an adolescent could spend a conservative maximum of 2 hr on a weekday afternoon and 3 hr on a weekday evening with family. we employed 2 or more items to assess each area of routine activities. 2002). see Pickering and Vazsonyi. 5 ¼ 4–5) read.Routine Activities and Deviant Behaviors 407 2. For 8 items these we recoded responses into hour estimates.10 The first two items. (5) hanging out with friends at someone’s house. 3 ¼ 2. Routine Activities We were interested in examining variability in different leisure contexts and not in establishing exact estimates of time adolescents spend in specific activities or behaviors. for a maximum of 12 hr per weekend. Three scores were formed by summing individual items. Subjects answered a total of 11 questions concerning the time they spent engaging in specific activities. We focused on the waking hours after school and before bedtime to examine how adolescents spend their time. subjects were asked to indicate the ‘‘time spent in an average week’’ after school and on weekends (1) playing school or community sports or participating in school clubs. we employed a subjective. which were answered on a 5-point Likert type scale ð1 ¼ 0. 3. therefore. included items 1. Osgood et al. and the third factor.5. Similarly. 2002). Each of these items was rated on a 5-point Likert type scale ð1 ¼ none. we multiplied time spent during the week by 1. working out. Therefore. (4) hanging out with friends in a public place. 4 ¼ 3. We also examined routine activities on weekends. namely 0. 10 For family time. This included an assumption that on average. 10. and 7. The first factor. we very conservatively hypothesized based on previous work that an adolescent could spend up to 6 hr per weekend day with family. named Community/Sports Activities. while the second factor.. 5. for additional detail. molar time recall self-report methodology of routine activities that excluded time spent at school. 4 ¼ 11–19 hr. at work. (7) spending time alone. 2 ¼ 1.3. 20. 1996). 3 ¼ 6–10 hr. named Solitary Activities. 9 . We also assumed that time spent during the week and time spent on weekends are associated. we recoded two items (weekday) to include a floor of zero. other forms of exercise or leisure sports.1–1. how many afterThe subjective time recall methodology of routine activities required some transformations prior to analyses. 2 ¼ 1–5 hr. and 8. 6. consisted of items 4 and 5 above. 5 ¼ 20þ hr). was constructed by combining 3 items (Pickering and Vazsonyi. named Peer Activities. and (8) participating in community organizations. For 8 of these items. or sleeping (see also.

and Junger noons during the school week. p < 0:001Þ. 2. Deviance Lifetime deviance was measured by the 55-item Normative Deviance Scale (NDS. Pickering. it also measured less serious forms of norm-violating conduct that transcend culture. alcohol (7 items). have you spent talking. theft (7 items). we controlled for both age and social class in subsequent regression analyses. p 0:001Þ. working. total deviance. Therefore. 2 ¼ one time. 3. therefore. Table II presents mean rates of routine activities and deviance by country and sex. Responses for all items in the NDS were given on a 5-point Likert type scale and identified lifetime frequency of specific behaviors (1 ¼ never. or playing with members of your family?’’ and (b) ‘‘On the average. The current investigation examined all seven subscales of the NDS. from the end of school or work to dinner. or playing with members of your family?’’ and was measured on a 5-point Likert type scale (1 ¼ very little. Belliston. each of the four routine activity scores was centered by summing the reports from all four contexts and then dividing each activity by the summed total. for more detail on the measure. 4 ¼ 4 –6 times. 2001). 2001). 4 ¼ quite a bit. examined a broader spectrum of deviant activities than just status and index offenses. comparisons by social class also indicated significant differences by country (X2 ¼ 700:85.  ¼ 0:95Þ. Rather. Reliability coefficients on the deviance subscales for the total sample ranged from  ¼ 0:76 (assault) to  ¼ 0:89 (drugs. working. from dinnertime to bedtime. how many evenings during the school week. ‘‘On the weekends. how much time have you generally spent talking.. have you spent talking.3. Hessing. and. drugs (9 items). 2 ¼ not too much. The scale was developed to measure ‘‘culture-free’’ deviance in general adolescent populations and to provide epidemiological data. or playing with members of your family?’’ (see Warr. 3 ¼ 2 –3 times. 1993.. Similarly. 5 ¼ a great deal). scales were also reliable in each subsample (see Vazsonyi et al. see Vazsonyi et al. For subsequent mean level comparisons. namely vandalism (8 items).408 Vazsonyi.6. RESULTS Table I presents the mean ages and the frequencies of the primary wage earner’s job by country. school misconduct (7 items). Because routine activities variables were standardized . and 5 ¼ more than 6 times). The third item asked. Mean level age differences by country were statistically significant (F ¼ 811:62. 3 ¼ some. and assault (6 items). general deviance (11 items). who used a 6-point Likert type scale for these two items). working.

9 4.7%. Both American and Swiss females reported spending more time with family than in community/sports activities. Hungarians reported spending a significantly larger proportion of their time with family than youth from all other countries. then in community/sports activities (average: 22.5 3. An examination of these means indicated that both males and females in all four countries reported spending the greatest amount of their time alone (male average: 34.6%).0 1.1%).0 31. mean values can be interpreted as actual percentages of time spent in each context of activity.1%).6 33.3 9. namely solitary.561 Age (mean) Primary wage earner’s profession Executive Professional Semi-professional Clerical Semi-skilled Laborer 17. findings suggested that males were consistently more deviant than females.9 33. peer.1 16.5 17.0%) ranked last. In comparisons on deviance measures. Descriptive Statistics of Demographic Variables by Country 409 Total sample n ¼ 6.4 6. Similarly. for all four groups of females. this was true in each country.1 37.0%). as well as Dutch females. American and Swiss females reported a greater amount of time spent with peers than Dutch females. in fact.8 27. reported the same rank ordering of routine activities. then finally. Both Hungarian males and females.7 12.0 22.9 16.1 16.516 n ¼ 1. with family (average: 19. Next. female average: 35.3 13. community/sports activities (average: 19.Routine Activities and Deviant Behaviors Table I.7 within each country to allow for comparisons.0 35. for males.9 11.5 17. Adolescents indicated that alcohol use was the most common form of deviance for both males and females across all countries.040 n ¼ 797 n ¼ 3.7 0. American and Swiss males and females were very close in the amount of time spent with peers and were all significantly higher than Hungarians. community/sports. the Swiss were also . while American adolescents were significantly higher in family time than both Swiss and Dutch youth. and family.8 40. adolescents reported the lowest levels of participation for theft across all groups. all but the Hungarians indicated spending the second greatest amount of time with peers (average: 24. Table II also includes the results of ANOVAs with post-hoc Scheffe contrasts for routine activities and deviant behavior by country and sex.914 ———————————————————————— American Dutch Hungarian Swiss ———————————————————————— n ¼ 1. Dutch males and females reported spending significantly more time alone than their counterparts in all three other groups.2 1.4 19.7 16.5 2.6 0. In addition. For male and female family time.

numbers listed here indicate group means before entering control variables.75 0.56 1.48 0. b Since residualized means are difficult to interpret.10 1.1 12.66 0. Scheffe post-hoc tests (Females) 20.7 46. American vs.44 0.4 22.5 13.1 11.77 0.02 0.3 14.86 1.71 1.9 11.1 15. Dutch.06 0.5 17. American vs.3 11. f.0 24.0 25.82 0.30 2.4 13. Hungarian males.28 2.78 0.46 0.46 0.84 2.84 0.2 25.23 1.5 12.78 1.04 0.57 0.77 0. Hungarian vs.48 0.69 0.4 14.4 24.17 2.02 0.3 11. Hessing.56 0.5 12.46 1.10 2. American vs.22 1.8 12.6 11.2 17.73 0.76 0. Oneway ANOVAs on Routine Activities and Deviance by Country and Sex (Controlling for Age and Social Class) Americans —————————— Males Females ———— ———— ma sd m sd Routine activities Family Peers Solitary Community Deviance Scale Vandalism Alcohol use Drug use School misconduct General Theft Assault Total deviance Dutch —————————— Males Females ———— ———— m sd m sd Hungarians —————————— Males Females ———— ———— m sd m sd Swiss —————————— Males Females ———— ———— m sd m sd Sig.2 12. b.40 1.83 0.250–1.98 0.7 12.0 32.9 32. group means can be interpreted as a percent since they were computed by scaling each type of routine activity by the total time reported.49 Vazsonyi.46 0.3 13.0 13.95 1.264. n ¼ 220–233. Hungarian.31 1.6 16.4 12.16 1.83 0.9 28.87 1. Dutch females.8 23.0 42.75 2.68 1.56 0.4 24.33 1.3 29. Swiss. Belliston.27 2.40 1. a For routine activities.60 0.38 2.69 1.62 1.75 2.67 1. Dutch vs.49 1.78 0.75 0.47 1.32 1.55 1.57 0.28 2.6 12. Hungarian.60 0.085–2.79 0. Dutch vs.1 18. therefore.41 1.16 1.62 0.79 0.79 1.84 0. n ¼ 526–531.13 0. Hungarian females.49 1.25 1. n ¼ 542–563. while significant Scheffe post-hoc comparisons (p < 0:05Þ indicate relationships after controlling for age and social class and are noted by the following designations: a.68 1.61 2.51 0.410 Table II.7 18.35 1.98 0. n ¼ 417–423.5 13.85 1. Swiss.2 acdf acdef adef abcdef aef acdef ac 1.72 2.50 1. sample sizes slightly varied by analysis: American males.61 1.81 1.7 29.05 0.9 16.35 0.70 0.78 1.80 0.70 0. c.79 0.49 0.27 1.7 12.6 12. American females.15 1.5 21. and Junger cef bdef de bdf bef abcde bf acd adf bdf d Note: Analyses used pairwise deletion.3 25.3 35.80 2.8 13. n ¼ 1.26 1.80 1.1 11.85 2. Scheffe post-hoc testsb (Males) Sig.43 0.9 24.46 1.8 13.2 15.42 1.7 19.0 21.0 10.81 1.46 0.47 0.83 2.166.20 1.20 1. .83 0. Dutch males.8 17.22 0. Pickering.8 14.83 1.95 0.77 2.32 1.3 12.85 1.46 0.80 0. e. n ¼ 471–477.91 1.31 1. n ¼ 2. Swiss.5 18.8 13.4 34.84 2.65 0.7 24. Swiss males.32 2.67 1. d. n ¼ 772– 790.42 0.2 22.67 0.80 0.43 0.72 1. Swiss females.1 15.

we compared patterns of associations between independent variables and outcomes. something Rowe and colleagues (1994) termed developmental process. were significantly higher than Hungarians. For example. For females. American males reported significantly greater proportions of time spent in community/sports activities than the Dutch. were significantly lower than adolescents in all three other countries. in this case routine activities variables. Dutch males reported the highest levels of school misconduct and were found to be significantly higher than Hungarian and Swiss males. In addition. to compare whether a single relationship between alcohol use and family time differs by country and sex (8 groups).Routine Activities and Deviant Behaviors 411 significantly higher in this category than Americans for both sexes. and outcomes. the Dutch reported the highest levels of school misconduct and. however. A similar pattern of drug use was found for both males and females. both males and females. Patterns of general deviance were found to be the same for both sexes where Hungarians reported significantly lower levels than all three other groups. Next. 28 pairwise comparisons would have to be computed. This means that for eight (males and females from four countries) 11 Â 11 matrices (7 deviance scales and 4 routine activities measures). the Swiss reported the highest levels of community/sports activities and were found to be significantly higher than both Dutch and Hungarians. Rowe et al. American females reported significantly lower levels of school misconduct than both Swiss and Dutch females. both Americans and Swiss reported significantly higher levels than both Dutch and Hungarians. in this case measures of deviance. Swiss males indicated the highest levels of theft and were significantly higher than both Dutch and Hungarian males. Hungarian females reported spending more time alone than their American peers. Also. Finally. while American males were also significantly higher than Hungarians. (1994) suggested comparing entire matrices from each group that include the antecedents. in an effort to compare the relationship between routine activities and measures of deviance. 440 . Americans reported the highest levels of community/ sports activities with significantly higher mean values than all three other nationalities. each containing 55 correlations. No significant mean level differences were found in the areas of male and female vandalism and assault or in female theft by country. namely. Mean level comparisons on the total deviance scale indicated that the Hungarians. This approach appears to be superior to a large number of pairwise comparisons for each association. For males. along with the Swiss. Dutch females reported significantly more use of alcohol than Swiss or Hungarians. Among females. Results of ANOVAs on the deviance scales revealed that American adolescents of both sexes were significantly higher in alcohol use than all three European groups. who were remarkably similar to each other within sex.

g. Therefore. 1992). GFI. and Junger pairwise comparisons would have to be computed. we computed eight 11 Â 11 correlation matrices by sex and by country which were then used for a model-free comparison using LISREL (Rowe et al. In general. we selected n ¼ 186 adolescents.1 exhibits poor fit. such an approach would be statistically unsound. because the chi square statistic is overly sensitive to sample size and almost always significant in large samples.. we used standardized measures of association (correlations) for model-free LISREL analyses because of known mean level differences as well as differences in variability in both routine activities scores and deviance measures. For this purpose.08 and 0.0 is considered acceptable (Bentler. Belliston. these sample sizes were based on the smallest study samples for each sex by country. however. Loehlin..08 suggests reasonable fit. they also suggest that a value between 0. the program computes a fitted matrix based on the four input matrices from males and based on the four matrices from females. Loehlin. Hessing. We also employed random samples of equal size from each country as previous research using this method has documented that differences in sample size also affected model fit (Rowe et al. Consistent with previous work and with our expectations.. the worse statistical fit. for male comparisons. while a value between 0. Not only is such a ‘‘piecemeal’’ approach of pairwise difference testing extremely tedious (not to mention impossible to comprehend). 1994). 1994). and in the community were negatively associated with deviance. routine activities with peers were positively associated with deviance. controlling for age and social class.90 and 1. 1993.1 demonstrates adequate fit while a model with a value greater than 0. we randomly selected n ¼ 274 participants from each country. In short.05 demonstrates excellent fit. 1994 for an illustration). For the CFI and GFI. both overall as well as for the individual group (see Rowe et al. we employed the full matrix. alone. a number of the solitary and community routine activities were not statistically significant. Based on suggestions by Loehlin (1992).11 Table III shows partial correlations between routine activities and deviance. The more individual matrices (e. 11 In model-free LISREL comparisons. Model fit for these analyses was evaluated using the standard chi square fit statistic and the chi square to degrees of freedom ratio as well as fit indices such as the CFI. . A well accepted rule of thumb for an acceptable chi square to df ratio varies between 2 and 3 in the literature (Hayduk. while for females.05 and 0. 1992). and the RMSEA (Browne and Cudeck. Swiss males) deviate from the fitted matrix. Pickering. but it is also likely to increase the risk of Type I error (inferring relationships where there are really none).. while routine activities in the family. although due to both small associations as well as sample size. 1987. for the model-free LISREL comparisons. Browne and Cudeck (1993) suggest that an RMSEA value of less than 0. a fit between 0.412 Vazsonyi.

19 0.03 À0.Routine Activities and Deviant Behaviors Table III.23 À0.03 À0.06 À0.12 0.12 À0.05 0.34 À0.14 À0.22 0.38 À0.08 À0.20 0.00 À0.01 Community À0.07 À0.06 À0.12 0.20 0.13 0.05 À0.08 À0.25 À0.22 0.02 À0.07 À0.02 0.01 À0.16 0.12 0.08 À0.02 À0.41 À0.07 À0.04 À0.10 À0.13 À0.09 0.05 À0.32 Solitary À0.19 0.02 À0.08 0.11 0.07 À0.32 À0.10 0.15 0. Partial Second-Order Correlations (Controlling for Age and Social Class) of Routine Activities with Deviance Scales by Country School misconduct —————————————— A D H S Vandalism ————————————— A D H S Alcohol ————————————— A D H S Drug use ————————————— A D H S Routine activity MALES Family À0.02 0.07 À0.15 0.21 0.02 À0.04 À0.15 0.11 À0.01 À0.06 À0.00 À0.03 À0.13 0.33 À0.27 À0.17 0.24 À0.03 0.26 À0.36 À0.24 0.08 À0.08 À0.16 À0.08 0.34 À0.01 À0.31 À0.15 À0.11 À0.12 0.02 À0.19 À0.38 À0.08 À0.20 0.26 À0.00 À0.16 0.05 0.14 À0.13 0.00 À0.03 À0.15 0.02 À0.18 0.03 À0.35 À0.25 0.10 0.13 0.34 À0.07 0.08 0.07 À0.01 À0.01 À0.17 0.12 À0.06 FEMALES Family Peers Solitary Community À0.11 0.28 À0.01 À0.31 À0.07 À0.14 0.01 À0.14 À0.02 À0.20 0.08 À0.00 À0.12 0.08 À0.21 0.14 0.32 À0.24 0.31 À0.38 À0.12 0.11 0.10 Peers 0.33 À0.02 À0.06 À0.06 À0.03 À0.22 0.18 0.10 0.03 À0.03 À0.14 À0.27 À0.12 À0.26 À0.06 0.08 0.15 À0.18 0.42 À0.01 À0.07 General ————————————— A D H S MALES Family Peers Solitary Community FEMALES Family Peers Solidary Community Theft ————————————— A D H S Assault ————————————— A D H S À0.37 À0.07 0.32 À0.29 0.15 À0.00 À0.02 À0.04 À0.04 0.33 À0.15 0.02 À0.24 À0.01 À0.29 À0.13 0.05 À0.19 0.11 À0.07 À0.12 0.31 À0.30 À0.06 À0.30 À0.21 0.13 À0.26 À0.05 À0.26 0.11 À0.05 À0.13 0.12 0.11 À0.04 À0.01 À0.09 0.08 À0.22 0.23 À0.17 0.09 0.31 À0.38 À0.13 0.28 À0.04 À0.03 À0.43 À0.30 À0.16 0.16 0.07 0.10 À0.07 À0.40 0.39 À0.14 0.00 413 .05 À0.03 À0.05 À0.08 À0.37 À0.05 À0.10 0.06 À0.12 0.32 À0.

p ¼ 0. assault) to 11% (alcohol) for females. Overall.35. age. Next.03. while accounting for 1% for females.97. The amount of variance uniquely explained by male routine activities in the deviance subscales ranged from 6% for assault to 17% for drug use.54.414 Vazsonyi. b ¼ 0. solitary. p ¼ 0. In an initial step. The amount of variance uniquely explained by country in the deviance subscales ranged from 0% (vandalism. and social class as controls.81. Findings were almost identical. RMSEA ¼ 0. We found that routine activities uniquely explained 18% of the variance in the total deviance score for males and 16% for females. it ranged from 3% for assault to 14% for drug use.04.98. therefore. b ¼ 0. Also. assault) to 3% (alcohol) for males and from 0% (vandalism. we simply reversed the order and entered routine activities first followed by country. and Junger 1992). b ¼ À0.12 Based on findings of similarity. The following relationships were found: family.98. p ¼ 0.23. female model fit: w2[198] ¼ 367.9 for the female comparison.02.04 (.94). Table IV presents the results of set hierarchical regression analyses by sex where we included routine activities and country (dummy-coded variables) as predictors of adolescent deviant behavior.026. Country uniquely accounted for 0% of the variance in total deviance for males.98. while controlling for age and social class. Hessing. . we examined the importance of each routine activity context or domain on total deviance. Findings indicated that developmental processes were very similar across the four countries for both males and females (male model fit: w2[198] ¼ 268. CFI ¼ 0. Next.4 for the male comparison and 1. RMSEA ¼ 0. we conducted an omnibus regression analysis using all cases and entering country.93 to 0. sex. CFI ¼ 0. the same analyses were also completed where the deviance measures were log transformed. RMSEA ¼ 0. GFIs range: 0. and for females suggested even greater similarity: Male model fit: w2[198] ¼ 309. p ¼ 0.028). and community. Belliston. peers.94. in the first series of analyses. for females.94 to 0. female model fit: w2[198] ¼ 238. theft. we used a set hierarchical approach where. namely 1. b ¼ À0. a dummy-coded variable for country was entered first and routine activities second.134. Each group showed minimal deviation from the aggregate LISREL model (males: all groups GFI ¼ 0.043). Chi square to df ratios were also well within the acceptable range. routine activities and country together explained from 7% (assault) to 19% (drug 12 Due to concerns of the effect of non-normality. We were interested in establishing whether country accounted for unique variance above and beyond how youth spent their time.06.96. all groups from each country were combined for a final set of analyses seeking to establish the unique predictive contributions of both routine activities and country for deviant behavior. the interaction term of country and routine activities accounted for 7% for males and 5% for females. CFI ¼ 0. For this purpose. GFIs range: 0.000. CFI ¼ 0.03 (0.07).000. females: GFIs ranged from 0. Pickering.19.96.90 to 0. RMSEA ¼ 0.

in comparisons of deviance rates. regression-based ML estimation results appeared robust to violations of normality in the data (for a discussion of this topic. Consistent with previous work. 4.13 Figure 1 summarizes this information graphically.g. the relationship between how adolescents spend their time in specific routine activities and whether or not they engage in deviant behaviors was largely invariant by national context. First. Also. these great similarities were also due to the fact that less serious forms of norm violations were assessed. This was somewhat unexpected given the large observed differences cross-nationally in official rates of crime and delinquency (see e. 1999). we also completed analyses after transforming all dependent variables in two ways. 13 Again. suggested that national context had very little or no explanatory power in adolescent deviant behavior.. including the total deviance score. adolescents from the four countries spent their time in remarkably similar ways. DISCUSSION The current investigation examined the relationship between adolescent routine activities and deviance in samples from Eastern and Western Europe as well as the United States. and alcohol use clearly indicate a somewhat different picture. country. followed by peer. and that most cross-national comparisons of official data focus on more serious cases of index crimes. namely log and square root transformations. with the exception of alcohol use. most of their time was spent in solitary activities. males spent a smaller proportion of their time in the family context than females. . family. see Hayduk. to examine the impact of non-normality on regression findings. Our findings on the relationship between routine activities. This was further supported in subsequent regression analyses which. Analyses on developmental processes suggested great similarity for males and for females from the four different countries. and community/sports activities. they also accounted for 19% of the variance in total deviance for males and 17% for females. 1996). In part. adolescents from Western European countries and the United States were very similar on most measures of deviance. few differences were found between the two Western European countries. Therefore. while females spent less time in community/sports activities (Flammer et al. Overwhelmingly. With the exception of alcohol use. we found identical numbers. The following important findings were made. American. Finally. and Swiss youth were more deviant than Hungarian adolescents. Second. males were consistently more deviant than females in each country. Gartner.Routine Activities and Deviant Behaviors 415 use) of the variance in the deviance subscales for males and 3% (assault) to 21% (alcohol) for females. some interesting differences were found by sex. In other words.. 1990). Dutch. Furthermore.

07 0.01** 0.15 0.01 0. c Dummy-coded country variables were entered together in one set on this step.17 0. community.00ns 0.13 0. female sample size ranged from n ¼ 2.01 0. male sample size ranged from n ¼ 3. d All routine activities variables (family.21 0.11 0. Pickering. Belliston.16 0.10 0.12 0.01 0.18 0.08 0. ns ¼ nonsignificant.07 0.19 0.15 0.416 Table IV. .01 0. ** p < 0:01. Hessing.00* 0.02 0.14 0.01** 0. solitary) were entered together in one set on this step.13 0.03 0.00* 0.10 0. b Using pairwise deletion.11 0. e Slight differences between sums of steps 1 and 2 and total model R2 are due to rounding error.00ns 0.03 0.13 0.10 0. * p < 0:05.01 0.01 0.00ns 0.09 0.03 0.00ns 0.07 0.14 0.939.01 0.00ns 0.08 0.02 0.913.12 0.15 0.11 0.12 0.02 0. age and social class were both controlled on a first step not shown here.12 0.03 0.570–3.19 0.17 0.10 0.716–2.14 0.08 0.00** 0.03 0.18 0.12 0.16 Vazsonyi.00* 0.09 0. a Using pairwise deletion. Set Hierarchical Regressions of Deviance (By Sex) School misconduct —————— M F Total deviance ————— M F Vandalism ————— Ma Fb Analysis 1 Step 1: Countryc Step 2: Activitiesd Analysis 2 Step 1: Activitiesd Step 2: Countryc Total modele Alcohol ————— M F Drug use ————— M F General ————— M F Theft ————— M F Assault ————— M F 0.06 0. and Junger 0.03 0.19 0.11 0.12 0. peers.17 Note: Figures in this table represent R2 values.02 0. all R2 values significant at p < 0:001 unless otherwise noted.01 0.12 0.02 0.01 0.09 0.02 0.12 0.16 0.01 0.

These findings suggest that individuals from different national contexts differ systematically with respect to factors contributing to alcohol and drug use. This was found for both males and females and is very consistent with recent national data which suggest that alcohol use and consumption seems to be an epidemic problem among teenagers and college students in the United States. their rates of alcohol consumption are the highest in this study.e. and country had limited additional explanatory power. we believe that different cultural norms and mores regarding drinking and drug use during adolescence (i. we found that routine activities accounted for 18% and 16% respectively in male and . the data suggest that the drug use by country interaction also accounts for 7% and 5% for males and females respectively. While a further test of this hypothesis is beyond the scope of the current investigation. For example. Conversely. while others are more restrictive) may be contributing to the importance of country in the explanation of both alcohol and drug use. some cultures are more tolerant. in fact.. 1. because alcohol is a forbidden fruit. Also. especially for females. On the relationships between routine activities and deviance.Routine Activities and Deviant Behaviors 417 Fig. youth in America develop attitudes and behaviors about alcohol that uniquely contribute to the consumption of alcohol. national context accounts for a rather large amount of variance in alcohol use. after controlling for how adolescents spend their time. in the countries where alcohol use is legal for most adolescents in the current investigation. Venn diagram showing unique and shared amounts of variance explained by routine activities and country (by Sex). they suggest that. despite the fact that alcohol use is illegal for American youth. both levels of use among teenagers were lower. One potential conclusion from these findings is that the legal provisions to protect adolescents from the consumption of alcohol may not be achieving their desired effect. In essence.

1969). We also found that spending time alone or spending time in community or team sports activities buffers against deviance. Hirschi. although this leaves a large amount of variance in deviance unexplained. 18) concludes that ‘‘the issue is not so much bad company as adolescent company. called ‘‘street time’’). and that ‘‘offenders’’ spend their leisure time differently than ‘‘non-offenders. we found that how youth spend their discretionary free time after school and on weekends is associated with a number of different deviant behaviors ranging from vandalism to assault. people contrive settings to meet their recreational needs. Pickering. although it also adds to the existing evidence for youth ages 15 to 19 years.g. the current investigation suggests that variability in peer time is equally important in the prediction of deviance for both males and females..g. This means that spending time away from home with peers places all adolescents at risk for deviance. . Interestingly. our results do not directly assess time spent with deviant peers which is the central tenet of social learning theory. p. and for the different types of deviance. however. Riley. These contrivances restore the lost recreation only in part and add more crime in the process’’ (p. Junger and Wiegersma. Akers.418 Vazsonyi. what Felson calls the situational insight. On this. An alternative interpretation which focuses on ‘‘unidirectional’’ influences of peers include social learning or differential association theory (e. however. Belliston. Some criminological studies have shown that juvenile delinquency is a group activity. We also found that spending time in the family context seemed to buffer adolescents from norm-violating behaviors. while spending time with peers in unstructured and largely unsupervised activities was most predictive of deviant behaviors. More specifically. Felson (1994) has suggested that we would expect activities which have moved away from the home to settings lacking guardianship and informal social controls to result in more crime and deviance. though the explanatory power was much smaller and the relationships inconsistent across the different countries.’’ namely.’’ We believe that this is what the data suggest in our study. Felson (1994. Osgood et al. an individual may be more likely to commit norm violations. ‘‘To compensate.’’ where human behavior is situational and given the right adolescent company. 1996. either spend time at home or in conventional activities that effectively insulate them from norm-violating conduct (e. 1987.. for males and females.g. this latter finding is very consistent with previous work (e.. 1995. 1987). what Riley. Nonoffenders.. Hessing. on the other hand. This implies that human behavior is situational. He suggests that the process adolescents encounter is the ‘‘symmetrically bad influence.. the individual may also simply be more likely to be ‘‘tempted’’ in this context. 1977). 1989. while Riley found a weaker relationship between ‘‘street time’’ and crime for females. offenders report spending their time away from home in settings where there are few or no informal social controls (e. Agnew and Petersen. 112). and Junger female total deviance.g.

and hence how far theories of delinquency can be generalized over time and place. much like Farrington (1999a. Switzerland: 0. politically. this will lead to a science of human behavior. there are often large differences across areas and groups within a country. and the United States: 375). with the exception of alcohol and drug use. we need to employ cross-national comparative data. the current study suggests that routine activities of youth in the four countries examined are quite similar. p. According to the Human Development Report (United Nations Development Program. A .Routine Activities and Deviant Behaviors 419 In conclusion. and varying national contexts and histories’’ (p. national context had very little or no explanatory power in adolescent deviance.1. they differ in a number of important respects from each other—legally. In their recent article on cross-national comparative research.4) or in the number of incarcerated individuals (Hungary: 132. Netherlands: 1.g. In fact. whether males or females. Future studies need to further explore the importance of different cultural and national contexts in adolescent deviance. As social scientists. APPENDIX A In a recent cross-national comparison of teenage sexual and reproductive health across five countries (U. for example. but across national boundaries. 1996).. guiding frameworks.4. While all of these countries are currently considered economically developed and democracies (very recent for Hungary). Farrington and Loeber (1999.000 people (e. Perhaps more importantly. adult rapes—Hungary: 1. and theories not only in a single cultural context. the routine activities perspective seems tenable cross-nationally.’’ In other words.2. 300) note that ‘‘cross-national comparisons of risk factors for delinquency are important for addressing the question of how far the causes of delinquency are similar in different times and places. the authors suggest that ‘‘beneath the generalizations necessary when making cross-national comparisons. to thoroughly examine theoretical propositions or explanatory frameworks. Switzerland: 81. and European countries) by the Alan Guttmacher Institute (2001). Ultimately. 1).S. the study also suggests that how youth spend their time. very large differences exist in crime perpetration and in rates of incarceration. UNDP. one that potentially may provide evidence of developmental universals or differences cross-nationally. and socially. we need to be interested in establishing the validity and reliability of previous research. Therefore. 1999b) has suggested. one that is genuinely international and intercultural. in the number of reported crimes per 100. Netherlands: 51. economically. The same rationale applies to the current investigation. and the United States: 90. appears to be related to deviance in a highly similar fashion crossnationally.

Netherlands: $17. and Petersen.680). While this brief review of some key data provides a sound rationale for studying and comparing these countries. drugs. We would also like to thank three anonymous reviewers for their feedback on the manuscript. and Swiss schools. R. Leisure and delinquency. Netherlands: 0. CA. while the Netherlands is a constitutional monarchy. Switzerland and the Netherlands are very ‘‘liberal’’ with respect to tolerating different lifestyles and fundamental values (e. Lastly. (1989). Soc. Hungarian. both Hungary and the United States are much more conservative which clearly impacts individual behavior and behavioral outcomes. Hungary is a parliamentary democracy.059. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS We are indebted to all American. legal systems also differ dramatically. Hessing. M.420 Vazsonyi. REFERENCES Agnew. and Junger comparison across these countries in effect is a natural experiment and comparison of low vs. D. Hungary has only recently instituted a democratic government after having a communist regime for the past half century. Similarly. administrators.). Wadsworth Publishing. abortion. .. Deviant Behavior: A Social Learning Approach.0. For example. Related to this. these two countries are the only countries in the world that supply heroin on a medical basis to addicts. Probl. finally. Switzerland: 0. Politically. Pickering. and students for their cooperation in this monumental undertaking. and the United States: 0. Dutch. etc. euthanasia.. 36: 332–350. Belliston. Economically. T. Belmont.36. R. Again. these countries also report very different levels of official assistance (% of GNP—Hungary: 0. it is by no means exhaustive and only provides some brief insights into apparently large differences between countries. where the United States is based on English common law. the implications of these observed differences is that they impact individual behavior and associated behavioral outcomes in members of each respective society. these selected countries also differ greatly on a number of less tangible and measurable social qualities that may also contribute to potential differences. the United States and Switzerland are federal republics. both in rates of behaviors as well as in the relationships between predictors and outcome variables.15). (1977). Akers. perhaps as a reflection of this. Switzerland: $22. On the other hand.g. there are also large differences in average indicators of socioeconomic status across these countries (real GDP per capita: Hungary: $6. while the Dutch system is based on a civil law system incorporating French penal theory. and the United States: $24. high crime rate countries.76.340.720.

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