Sociology Index


Belief is the degree to which an individual believes in conventional values, morality, and the legitimacy of law. In Travis Hirschi's work, aspects of the ‘social bond’. Belief is also an important factor when measuring social bonds and is defined as the “acceptance of a conventional values system” (Durkin et al., 1999). The four components of social bond theory are attachment, commitment, involvement, and belief (Hirschi, 1969). 

Hirschi states that when individuals do not believe that they should conform to social convention, they are more likely to break the law, and that teenagers are not exceptions to social conventions. Hirschi believes that attachment to others can help prevent deviant behavior.

Laws legal or cultural norms, belief systems, traditions all play a determining role in various aspects of our lives.

A school's climate often refers to the unwritten beliefs, values, and attitudes of the school, and the interaction between students, teachers and administrators as well as organizational characteristics of the school (Anderson, 1982; Welsh et al., 2001).

Can high parental attachment to parent(s) with conventional or unconventional beliefs have a strong impact on the marijuana use and excessive alcohol consumption among college students. Whether the degree of “social bond” (as described by Travis Hirschi) has an effect on frequency of college student alcohol and marijuana use will be investigated through a comparative analysis between two separate casual models (a causal model of alcohol use and a causal model of marijuana use).

The degree of social bonds (i.e. parental attachments, involvement, commitment, and belief) and the degree of alcohol and marijuana use among these students will be determined through a self-report survey administered to a randomly selected group of students attending a Midwestern university. The self-report survey contains items covering the fundamental concept of social bond theory, as well as, items referring to individual student alcohol and marijuana use. Parental attitudes toward the use of alcohol and marijuana were assessed in the survey to find a causal relationship (causality) between these factors and frequency of college student alcohol and marijuana use.

Religiosity and Perceived Future Ascetic Deviance and Delinquency among Mormon Adolescents: Testing the "This-Worldly" Supernatural Sanctions Thesis - Mark A. Harris. Sociological Inquiry, Vol. 73 Issue 1 Page 28 - Feb. 2003
Previous religiosity-delinquency research primarily explores hellfire belief and aspects of religious social bonding. Both hellfire belief and religious social bonding have been hypothesized to reduce delinquency.

Shannon Womer Phaneuf, Doctor of Philosophy, 2006. "They concluded that school's normative beliefs influence violence and aggressive behavior net of individual personal beliefs." "The final element of the social bond is belief, which refers to the acceptance of the norms and rules of conventional society. This element of the bond focuses on respect for the laws and rules of society and for the people and institutions responsible for upholding those laws and rules. According to Hirschi's theory, children who believe they should obey laws and rules are less likely to engage in delinquency and other deviant behaviors compared to children who do not believe in the validity and authority of the law and rules of society."

Fishbein, Martin, and Icek Ajzen. 1975. Belief, Attitude, Intention, and Behavior. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.