Title

Substance Use and Sexual Orientation: A Test of Hirschi’s Social Bonds Theory

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

6-1-2018

School

Criminal Justice, Forensic Science, and Security

Abstract

© 2017, Southern Criminal Justice Association. A substantial amount of research assesses the ability of Hirschi’s social bonds theory to explain numerous deviance oriented outcomes. In addition to amassing support for the theory, studies have also examined social bonds from sex and racial perspectives finding variations in bond strengths. Despite the impressive body of literature, one area that has yet to be explored is how social bonds and their relationships with deviance may vary between sexual orientation groups. Thus, the current study sought to compare the strength of social bonds and assess how social bonds can predict substance use between heterosexuals and non-heterosexuals. Self-reported data collected from 626 college students was examined using linear and logistic regression models. Results revealed that social bonds tend to be stronger and better predictors of substance use for heterosexuals. This study is the first of its kind to explore social bonds as a predictor between sexual orientation groups. Results indicate there is a need to further explore the strength of social bonds as predictors between sexual orientation groups. Heterosexuals and non-heterosexuals have different experiences as a result of their sexual orientation leading to varying relationships between social bonds and deviance.

Publication Title

American Journal of Criminal Justice

Volume

43

Issue

2

First Page

278

Last Page

293

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