Pirating Youth: Examining the Correlates of Digital Music Piracy among Adolescents

Whitney D. Gunter, Western Michigan University
George E. Higgins, University of Louisville
Roberta E. Gealt, University of Delaware


To date, most criminological research on digital piracy has focused exclusively on college student samples. This focus has left a vacuum in researching other populations potentially involved in such piracy. Specifically, adolescents are often associated with other crimes, yet have been severely understudied in relation to digital piracy. The present study seeks to address this by presenting the first multivariate examination of engagement in digital music piracy among middle school and high school students. The study uses a random sample of 8th and 11th grade students in Delaware to predict involvement in music piracy with demographics (sex, race, and class), educational achievement and aspirations, and self-control. Results indicate each of these factors are related to music piracy in this population.