Self-Report Delinquency Scale

The main purpose of the Self-Report Delinquency Scale is to assess if individuals have involved themselves in criminal behavior, and if so, the frequency of their actions. The involvement in delinquent and criminal behavior is measured using the self-report technique.

The survey includes personalized answer responses with a set sub scale based on the type of criminal offense and the frequency of committing that particular offense. Since the commencement in the 1950s, the value of the psychometric self-report method has increased. Categories of juvenile crimes from the Uniform Crime Report were rationally selected. Methods such as follow questions and broad frequency sets are used to increase reliability. The validity of the self-report data is high and dependable for research.

request a consultation

Discover How We Assist to Edit Your Dissertation Chapters

Aligning theoretical framework, gathering articles, synthesizing gaps, articulating a clear methodology and data plan, and writing about the theoretical and practical implications of your research are part of our comprehensive dissertation editing services.

  • Bring dissertation editing expertise to chapters 1-5 in timely manner.
  • Track all changes, then work with you to bring about scholarly writing.
  • Ongoing support to address committee feedback, reducing revisions.


Terence Thornberry, Marvin Krohn, Alan Lizotte, Carolyn Smith & Kimberly Tobin, 2003- Multisite Violence Prevention Project,2004

Validity and Reliability

The Cronbach’s Alpha for the self-report delinquency scale was found to be .91 by Elliot and Ageton (1980); based on the accepted alpha value of .7 or more being significant, the self-report delinquency scale shows high reliability. Three categories – content, construct, criteria – were used to assess the validity of the instrument. The problematic issues with cross-sectional research were reduced through the use of the self-report in the context of longitudinal designs.  Weaknesses were presented in the accuracy of earlier self-report scales along with the concealing or forgetting of past criminal behavior by the subjects.


National Mentoring Resource Center

Administration, Analysis and Reporting

Statistics Solutions consists of a team of professional methodologists and statisticians that can assist the student or professional researcher in administering the survey instrument, collecting the data, conducting the analyses and explaining the results.

For additional information on these services, click here.


Thornberry, Terence P., and Marvin D. Krohn. Forthcoming. The development of delinquency:An interactional perspective. In Handbook of law and social science:Youth and justice, edited by Susan O. White. New York:Plenum Press.

Thornberry, Terence P. (1997). Developmental theories of crime and delinquency. New Brunswick, New Jersey: Transaction Publishers. View

Journal of Quantitative Criminology2 (4):293–327.

Lehnen, R.G., and A.J. Reiss. 1978. Response effects in the National Crime Survey. Victimology: An International Journal3:110–124.