Reputation enhancing goals: Integrating reputation enhancement and goal setting theory as an explanation of delinquent involvement

Published on Jan 1, 2001
Annemaree Carroll25
Estimated H-index: 25
Stephen Houghton37
Estimated H-index: 37
+ 1 AuthorsKevin Durkin63
Estimated H-index: 63
There are a number of conditions to which youths are exposed that predispose them to involvement in delinquent activities. Not all adolescents who are exposed to adverse conditions, however, necessarily engage in delinquency. This article provides an alternative explanation of delinquency via a model entitled Reputation Enhancing Goals (REG) which integrates reputation enhancement theory and goal setting theory. An overview of the theories of reputation enhancement and goal setting is presented with discussion of how the two theories are integrated. Elaboration of the elements of the integrated model with empirical support for their inclusion is provided. The integrated model is based on the premise that delinquency is a relatively common alternative chosen by adolescents because it serves to provide critical feedback about their own self-image and status and it assists them to interpret the image and status of others. The model comprises four major facets (individual's resources, personal goals, peer influence, and reputation management) and four self-regulating mechanisms (presence of audience, feedback, commitment, and challenge). Implications for prevention and intervention with at-risk adolescents are discussed.
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