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Keywords:

  • Delinquency;
  • context effects;
  • routine activities;
  • time use;
  • communities and crime;
  • social disorganization

This article applies an individual-level routine activities perspective to explaining rates of delinquency. The theoretical analysis also links the opportunity processes of that perspective to key themes of social disorganization theory. Multilevel analyses of 4, 358 eighth-grade students from thirty-six schools in ten cities support the central hypothesis: Time spent in unstructured socializing with peers has both individual and contextual effects that explain a large share of the variation in rates of delinquency across groups of adolescents who attend different schools. In addition, parental monitoring has a very strong contextual effect on unstructured socializing, which supports the proposed integration of routine activity and social disorganization perspectives.