Extending Interactional Theory: The Labeling Dimension

Joongyeup Lee, Scott Menard, Leana A. Bouffard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Interactional theory argues that theoretical variables and delinquency have reciprocal causal relationships. While empirical support for the reciprocal relationships has been found, the impact of delinquency on later changes in the variables, including attenuated attachment to family, needs more elaboration. Labeling theory may offer a constructive extension to interactional theory, given their common emphases on theoretical integration, age-varying effects, and reciprocal relationships. The present study suggests an extended interactional model with the labeling dimension. Using structural equation modeling, both the original and extended models were tested with longitudinal data from a nationally representative sample. The present study tested statistical and substantive significance of the paths hypothesized by each model. Findings lend support for the extended interactional model; providing as much as a 48.2% increase in its explanatory power when compared to the original interactional model. The extended interactional model incorporating labeling theory may contribute to both interactional theory and labeling theory for juvenile delinquency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalDeviant Behavior
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law


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