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Self-Determination, Deviance, and Risk Factors



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Abstract Deviant behaviours cost Canadian society billions of dollars and an immeasurable amount of emotional and physical damages every year (Office of the Parliamentary Budget Officer, 2018; The John Howard Society of Canada, 2018). There have been numerous studies on the role of risk factors in affecting deviant behaviours, however, none of these have examined the influence self-determination on deviance (Mann, Hanson, & Thornton, 2010; Murray & Farrington, 2010; Zara & Farrington, 2010). This study intends to fill this gap by investigating the interactions between self-determination, gender, risk factors, and deviance, which, prior to this study, had yet to be examined. Specifically, this study aims to explore the relationship between the separate types of self-determination (autonomous, controlled, and impersonal) and the contribution of each gender on these categories. In addition, this study also intends to analyze how the type of self-determination orientation and gender interacts with the number and severity of deviant acts an individual engages in, and the amount of risk factors present for each individual. 432 participants invited through the University of Saskatchewan’s PAWS and SONA systems completed an online survey that asked questions relating to gender, self-determination, risk factors, and deviance. A Chi-square Test for Independence was utilized to explore the explicit relationships between the type of self-determination and gender differences. In addition, a two-way MANOVA was used to compare self-determination and gender together in relation to deviance and risk factors. A Chi-square test found that there was not a significant relationship between gender and self-determination. On the contrary, a MANOVA found a significant interaction effect between self-determination, deviance, and risk factors. However, when the interaction was examined further through univariate ANOVAs, no significant differences were found. While not significant, patterns in the data were nevertheless evaluated. Implications, limitations, and suggestions for future research were also discussed.



Keywords: Deviance, antisocial behaviours, self-determination, risk factors, gender.



Master of Education (M.Ed.)


Educational Psychology and Special Education


School and Counselling Psychology


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