To assess potential relations between actors, a stochastic actor model, which is widely used to analyze panel data across various networks, was used. The model, also known as a continuous-time Markov chain, was used to determine if girls were more affected by delinquency or abuse committed by peers than boys (Doogan, Haynie, Soller, 2014). Furthermore, this assessment model was more suitable so it could determine if the female gender had a higher chance of selecting mates based on delinquent or aggressive actions than their male peers using the preference hypothesis (Doogan et al., 2014). Typically, such observations are normally made at two or more time periods that are discreet. However, stochastic actor oriented model is often a generalized linear model characterized by large missing volumes of data, forcing researchers to make several estimation methods (Wasserman & Faust, 2016).
The article used longitudinal network data primarily extracted from adolescent girls in two schools. Group inclusion involved a total of 1,857 female and male students attending two large schools (Doogan et al., 2014). In order to critically assess deliquesce or violent behavior, it is imperative to make observations based on large groups as opposed to a single group. Such methodology will enable to measure whether delinquents normally choose other violent or delinquent friends. Moreover, network analysis was combined in a macro-level involving two large schools limiting the study to 1,857 participants during the study (Doogan et al., 2014).
Validity of Information Sources
Information sources regarding the actors were mainly within school network research studies, which mainly focus on the development of friendship networks (Doogan et al., 2014). Thus, using stochastic actor model represented the growth or development of school networks besides evaluating the role of violent or delinquent behavior within the realms of school-based network development. More importantly, evaluating these developments under a macro-level enabled the study to assess missing information such as parameter values for several effects that typically play critical roles within network evolution (Papachristos, 2011). In this case, it is imperative to note that parameter values tend to differ when a research is conducted in different schools. Data obtained in the two different schools was combined in a manner that took into account any variation occurring between parameter estimates.
Results in the research study suggested that girls have a higher probability of getting influenced through their friends_x0092_ involvement in deliquesce and violent behavior as opposed to their male counterparts (Doogan et al., 2014). Additionally, similar results patters were observed in other non-violent or non-delinquency behaviors among the two genders. Bearing in mind that gender was not a significant factor; several proofs indicated that boys_x0092_ violent or delinquency behavior tends to accelerate more when exposed to friends having higher violent or delinquency tendencies (Doogan et al., 2014). At the same time, extremely violent or delinquent male students tend to be immune towards reducing their delinquency or violence when exposed to friends who are less delinquent or violent. According to selection dynamics, both male and female students are influenced to choose friends based on their behavior.
However, female students have the highest tendency indicating that girls who become delinquent or violent, which are a personal decision (Doogan et al., 2014). Therefore, as opposed to male students, female students base their decisive factor particularly when determining their specific friendship ties. Focusing on crime control, it is therefore easier to reduce crime among males as opposed to female individuals who base their violent or delinquent decisions on tie formation.
Although the authors offered sufficient description regarding selected network for cross-network comparison, the study may not conclusive. The study has laid more focus to support theories under the realm of peer influence and failed to generalize externally such as by considering family influence. Several literature studies have indicated that there is small support regarding sub-cultural explanations focusing on violence or delinquency (Young & Ready, 2015). Several cultural deviance theories indicate that most delinquent or violent adolescents choose their behaviors because of weak relationships in their conventional schools and with their parents. However, on the other hand, there are several individuals who choose this type of behavior despite having strong bonds at home and in their school networks (Young & Ready, 2015).
Therefore, there is a great need of making efforts aimed at closing the gaps between differing theoretical bridges. In addition, the tradition of social network regarding the issue of influence or selection is considered to be ill-stated, primarily due to the fact that several combinations of selection and influence models are expected by researchers. Presently, criminologists have been unable to solve this existing conflict such as by testing hypothesis by use of analysis and network research that is quantitatively based (Young & Ready, 2015). Thus, this study failed to critically assess the relevance of cultural deviance theory that is composed of differential association theory.
In the future, it is extremely important to consider the employment of longitudinal network research studies developed from earlier stages of life. This is because several studies have established that long-stable relationships are normally formed during such stages characterized by high delinquency levels (Papachristos, 2011). Potential research studies need to take into account the intensity and duration of relationships between different actors. Results may be inaccurate and thus, unreliable due to the fact that most adolescents may have developed network friendships long before the research study was carried out. In this case, students living in the same geographic locations may have met and interacted such as during secondary school_x0092_s first grade. Normally, violent and delinquency behavior begins illuminating itself when individuals are aged between fifteen and sixteen years (Papachristos, 2011).
The hypothesis is that investments made by students who may have met during earlier years is not easily eliminated and thus, affects the research study. Existing studies indicate that violent or delinquent adolescents rarely maintain stable relationships; however, it is imperative to note that well-developed relationships have a tendency of withstanding any differences brought about as a result of violent or delinquency behavior (Papachristos, 2011). For this reason, future research studies need to establish the intensity and duration of existing relationships between different actors so as to increase the accuracy levels of research study. However, there is a possibility of incurring several serious methodological students such as having high cases of actors who may fall out of the research study (Papachristos, 2011). Besides, there is high likelihood that several networks may end up mixing up and thus, alter the study. These shortcomings may be countered by developing new theories capable of supporting future research studies.
Doogan N., Haynie D., Soller B. (2014). Gender, Friendship Networks and Delinquency: A Dynamic Network Approach. Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice. DOI: 10.1111/1745-9125.12052
Papachristos, A.V. 2011. The Coming of a Networked Criminology? Advances in Criminological Theory, vol 17: 101-140.
Young, J.T.N. & Ready, J.T. 2015. Diffusion of Ideas and Technology: The Role of Networks inInfluencing the Endorsement and Use of On-Officer Video Cameras. Journal of ContemporaryCriminal Justice, 31(3): 243-261.
Wasserman, S., & Faust, K. (2016). Social network analysis: Methods and applications.