Predicting Military Delinquency
ARMY RESEARCH INST FOR THE BEHAVIORAL AND SOCIAL SCIENCES ALEXANDRIA VA
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Social-psychological factors were assessed as possible predictors of military delinquency to increase the predictability or reduce the frequency of discipline problems in the Army. Data were collected by an anonymous self- administered questionnaire from a sample of 1,564 enlisted men stationed in the continental U.S., Alaska, and West Germany during 1973 and 1974 and selected to reflect the diverse composition of the Army. Respondents were asked a number of questions concerning their attitudes toward authority figures and perceptions of military life as well as standard social background such as education, relations with parents, and race. They were also asked how many times military authorities had charged them with being absent without leave AWOL or other offenses. In the sample studied, the social background variables of preservice delinquency, school expulsions, civilian arrests, and difficulty in holding a job were most predictive of self-reported AWOL, accounting for 16.6 of the variance. The same variables of preservice delinquency, school expulsions, and civilian arrests were most predictive of resistance to authority, while preservice delinquency and civilian arrests were the only significant predictors of general delinquency.
- Sociology and Law