Adolescent apprentices in Germany: Adult attachment, job expectations, and delinquency attitudes

Susan B. Silverberg, Alexander T. Vazsonyi, Alice E. Schlegel, Sabine Schmidt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Guided by Hamilton's discussion on apprenticeships and adolescent delinquency, the goals of the present exploratory study were twofold: (a) to document variation in delinquency (attitudes and behavior), attachment to adults, optimism about occupational future, and disposition toward aggressiveness among a group (N = 43) of German apprentices; and (b) to examine the relations among attachment to adults, optimism about occupational future, and delinquency-endorsing attitudes. Questionnaire and interview data revealed considerable variation across all four variables. As hypothesized, attachment to adults predicted attitudes toward delinquency; notably, this was over and above the effects of aggression. Apprentices who reported higher levels of attachment to adults were also more optimistic regarding their occupational future. Level of aggression moderated the association between attachment to adults and attitudes toward delinquency; specifically, reports of relatively high attachment to adults were associated with low levels of delinquency-endorsing attitudes but only among the low-aggression apprentices. The implications of these findings are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)254-271
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Adolescent Research
Volume13
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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