Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program




Major Professor

Laird, Robert

Second Advisor

Frick, Paul

Third Advisor

Scaramella, Laura


According to the General Theory of Crime, lower self-control individuals with sufficient opportunities are most likely to engage in crime or analogous acts. This study tested three hypotheses drawn from the General Theory of Crime. Specifically, this study tested the low selfcontrol to rule-breaking behavior association, self-selection and tested restricted or enhanced opportunities as moderators of the low self-control and rule-breaking link. Early adolescents reported their self-control, unsupervised time, parental solicitation, rules, affiliation with antisocial peers and rule-breaking behavior. Parents reported their perceptions of adolescents' rule-breaking. Lower self-control was associated with more adolescent- but not parent-reported rule-breaking. Lower self-control was linked to more rule-breaking behavior indirectly through unsupervised time, parental solicitation and antisocial peers. Lower self-control was more strongly associated with rule-breaking at higher, as compared to lower, levels of opportunities. Results clarify and extend understanding of the role of restricted or enhanced opportunities in the General Theory of Crime.


The University of New Orleans and its agents retain the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible this dissertation or thesis in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. The author retains all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis or dissertation.