Social capital and delinquency in Bagcilar, Turkey
There is a growing literature on social capital and delinquency. Most research has been done in Western industrial countries, has used limited measures of delinquency, and has employed surveys developed locally as opposed to using internationally validated instruments. Using data from the European Youth Survey, this study addresses these limitations by examining the relationship between social capital and self-reported delinquency among Turkish juveniles. The data were collected from a sample of tenth graders in 2007 in Bagcilar neighborhood of Istanbul. Self-reported delinquency was divided into two categories, major and minor, based on the Turkish Penal Code. Social capital was measured by assessing adolescents’ reports of their direct interactions with parents, peers and community. To predict the likelihood of major and minor delinquency independently, two different subsets (n = 1,879 and n = 1,837) of the data were used. Findings indicate that the presence of family social capital and community social capital had significant negative relationships with both major and minor delinquency. The presence of delinquent peers was significantly associated with both increases in major and minor delinquency. Overall, our findings suggest that social capital was negatively related to Turkish juveniles’ self-reported involvement in major and minor delinquent activities.