Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. Lewis Walker

Second Advisor

Dr. Judith Riley

Third Advisor

Dr. Peter Renstrom


This dissertation sought to examine the extent to which a set of social bonding factors were helpful in preventing delinquency in the Jordanian society. A sample of 147 juveniles (male eleventh-graders) from seven public high schools in the Tafielah Covernate and its localities completed a self-reported survey. Their answers were useful in ascertaining whether or not Hirschi's (1969) social control theory was indeed applicable cross-culturally, especially in a society dissimilar to the United States. Within the theoretical confines of Hirschi's theory, the descriptive data suggest that Jordanian youth have similar cultural beliefs, values, attitudes, and affiliation to the convention order of the general society.

Based on their admissions of delinquency or non-delinquency, the respondents were assigned either to the deviant or non-deviant category. Four indices were constructed to measure the four elements of social bonding: (1) attachment to significant others, (2) commitment to conventional activities, (3) involvement in conventional activities, and (4) belief in the conventional order.

The four hypotheses of the dissertation were tested and the data suggested that the Jordanian youth do indeed maintain strong ties to the conventional order which, in a measure, is some support of Hirschi's assertion that a collective conscious exists regarding order maintenance. However, the sample reported significant involvement in delinquent activities as 76.2% (n = 112) fell into the delinquent category and 23.8% (n = 35) fell into the nondelinquent category.

In sum, the analysis of the data revealed that while Jordanian youths preserved their ties to the conventional order, the ties were not sufficient enough to constrain their delinquency involvement. This finding casts serious doubt on the adequacy of Hirschi's theory in an attempt to explain juvenile delinquency in a cross-cultural context.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access