Testing Social Support Theory: A Multilevel Analysis of Recidivism
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Purpose: Tests of social support theory have relied on aggregate crime rates as the outcome of interest, but such a focus ignores the potentially important macro-level processes and effects on individual-level behavior We thus perform the first multi-level investigation of social support theory. Methods: Multilevel modeling is used to explore whether the two varieties of county-level social support - the presence of charitable organizations and AFDC expenditures - are associated with recidivism in a sample of Florida prison releasees. Results: Results show that while social support explains little variation in individual-level recidivism, a combination of private and public social support may reduce the likelihood of reconviction for drug offenses. Conclusion: Findings provide mixed evidence for the prospect that social support-whether governmental or nongovernmental-is associated with recidivism among recently-released inmates.
Journal of Criminal Justice
Causes and Prevention of Crime