This thesis is designed to look at deviant behavior among college students and high school students and to determine whether or not there is a difference between the frequency in which college and high school students engage in deviant behavior. In order to investigate my research question I surveyed 175 College of Wooster students about their criminal behavior in college and in high school. Based on key criminological theories looked at in this thesis (theory of neutralization, theory of differential association, social bond theory, and rational choice theory) I hypothesized that: college students are more likely to commit crime than high school students, college students commit crime more frequently than high school students, and college students are more prone to commit more serious types of crime. My results showed statistically significant support for these hypotheses. Although tests for these specific causal factors of this relationship were inconclusive I strongly encourage more research to be done in order better understand what may cause this relationship.


Clayton, Robert


Sociology and Anthropology




deviant behavior

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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