Journal of Humanities, Arts and Social Science

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Article http://dx.doi.org/10.26855/jhass.2023.02.006

To What Extent Do Peer Interactions Influence Perceptual Deterrence in People with Different Personality Traits? A Cross-sectional Study of Young Adults

Ruoqi Zhang

The Institute for International Research on Criminal Policy (IRCP), Ghent University, Gent, Belgium.

*Corresponding author: Ruoqi Zhang

Published: February 21,2023

Abstract

Introduction: The age-crime curve of criminal behaviour shows a high level of involvement of young people in their 20s in criminal activities. It is crucial to understand the factors that underpin criminal activity to develop effective actions to reduce or prevent criminal activity. Previous research has explored the effects of environmental and psychological factors on the ‘risk perception of sanctions’. However, there is a gap in research on a combination of factors accounting for intra- and inter-individual differences. Aims and Research Questions: This study aims to investigate whether there are different directions of influence between individual and environmental factors alone and the combined effects of both on the perceived risk of sanctions in youth. Method: A global sample of healthy adults aged 18-25 completed a series of self-reported measures conducted via an online survey posted on social media (N=237). Results: A total of 237 questionnaires were used for analysis. Participants were recruited globally; the majority of participants were male (57.4%). The results of the ANOVA revealed young people who scored higher on the agreeableness and conscientiousness traits showed less variation in perceptions of deterrence across levels of delinquent peer interaction, while young people who scored lower on the neuroticism trait showed less variation in perceptions of deterrence across levels of delinquent peer interaction. Correlation and regression analyses indicated that higher levels of agreeableness and conscientiousness were associated with higher levels of delinquent peer interaction. Higher levels of extraversion and delinquent peer interaction predicted young people's perceptions of the severity of sanctions but failed to predict the perceived risk of arrest. Conclusion: Evidence from this study and the wider literature suggests that personal characteristics and contextual factors combine to maintain the perceived risk of sanctions and have difference in influence orientation with the separate psychology and contextual factors. Therefore, promoting positive peer interactions and limiting associations with negative peers are necessary to moderate young people's potential criminal intentions and reduce young people's crime rates.

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How to cite this paper

To What Extent Do Peer Interactions Influence Perceptual Deterrence in People with Different Personality Traits? A Cross-sectional Study of Young Adults

How to cite this paper: Ruoqi Zhang. (2023) To What Extent Do Peer Interactions Influence Perceptual Deterrence in People with Different Personality Traits? A Cross-sectional Study of Young Adults. Journal of Humanities, Arts and Social Science7(2), 267-283.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.26855/jhass.2023.02.006