Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Sociology

Content Description

1 online resource (v, 142 pages) : illustrations (some color)

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Ryan King

Committee Members

Steven Messner, Kathy Trent


Crime, Social Support, Welfare, Public welfare, Social networks

Subject Categories

Criminology | Sociology


The purpose of this research is to explore the relationship between social support and crime. In 1994, Frank Cullen wrote an innovative article which was designed to construct social support as an organizing principle for criminology. Using this work to frame this research, I hypothesize that social support will be negatively related to crime. I explore this relationship on two levels of analysis. First, I investigate the relationship between state-level support and crime rates using a dataset that I constructed from a variety of sources. Second, I investigate the relationship between individual-level support and crime and deviance using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, 1997 cohort (NLSY97). Results indicate that while certain forms of support have the anticipated negative relationship with crime, other forms of support have a positive relationship, while others display no significant relationship. In short, the relationship between social support and crime is not as straightforward as initially hypothesized.

Included in

Criminology Commons