Sung Joon Jang

Sung Joon Jang
Baylor University | BU · Institute for Studies of Religion

Ph.D.

About

101
Publications
131,435
Reads
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5,223
Citations
Additional affiliations
June 2014 - present
Baylor University
Position
  • Professor
August 2007 - May 2014
Baylor University
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
Description
  • Juvenile Delinquency, Research Methods, Criminological Theories (graduate), Micro-criminology (graduate)
August 2007 - May 2014
Baylor University
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
Education
August 1989 - July 1992
August 1985 - July 1989
March 1976 - February 1983
Yonsei University
Field of study
  • Public Administration

Publications

Publications (101)
Article
Full-text available
Objectives This study tests whether a juvenile offender’s religious involvement or religiosity is inversely related to crime (i.e., non-drug offending) and use of licit and illicit drug when their trajectories are examined. It also tests whether the relationships are attributable in part to psychosocial correlates of religiosity as well as crime an...
Article
Prior research tends to find an inverse relationship between inmates’ religion and misconduct in prison, but this relationship has lacked empirical explanation. We therefore propose the religion-misconduct relationship is mediated by inmates’ identity transformation on existential, cognitive, and emotional dimensions. To test the mediation, we cond...
Article
Although prior research has had a tendency to confirm a negative association between religiousness and crime, criminologists have been slow to incorporate new concepts and emergent issues from the scientific study of religion into their own research. The self-identity phrase “spiritual but not religious” is one of them, which has been increasingly...
Chapter
Full-text available
The paper traces the role of religion in contemporary criminology as well as reviewing the development of scholarly interest in religion within the field of criminology. We begin with a systematic review of 270 published studies to better understand the state of the literature examining the relationship between religion and crime. Our systematic re...
Article
Full-text available
Although previous research on Agnew's (1992) general strain theory (GST) tends to yield significant effects of strain on negative emotions as well as deviance and crime, results tend to be mixed with regard to (1) the effects of negative emotions on deviance and crime and (2) conditioning factors that Agnew suggests affect the selection of coping s...
Article
This paper examines whether religion contributes to offenders taking responsibility for crimes. Specifically, we assessed whether participation in The Prisoner’s Journey (TPJ), a bible study program, increased or decreased responsibility-taking. We also examined whether religious offenders that did not participate in TPJ were likely to take respons...
Article
Full-text available
This study examines whether accountability to God is positively associated with four measures of psychological well-being—happiness, mattering to others, dignity, and meaning—among US adults. It also tests the possibility that prayer moderates these associations. Data from the 2017 Values and Beliefs of the American Public Survey (n = 1251) were an...
Article
Objective To examine whether fathers who attend TYRO Dads class report greater satisfaction in their relationship with their child and increased engagement in activities with their child than nonparticipants and, if so, whether parenting efficacy, parenting role identity, and coparenting relationship with the child's mother account for differences...
Article
Although faith-based programs are present in most prisons for offender rehabilitation, the effect of religion on prison inmates remains an understudied topic. In addition, existing research shows mixed results about the religious effect. The present study intends to not only advance the understanding of inmate's prison misconduct but also examine w...
Article
We examined (1) whether the relationship between religiosity and negative emotions (anger, frustration, depression, and anxiety) among prisoners is attributable to inmates’ sense of meaning and purpose in life and personal virtues and (2) whether religiosity has a larger positive relationship with a search for and a presence of meaning in life as w...
Article
This article examines the applicability of general strain theory to correctional samples by testing whether prison strains are positively related to deviance among prisoners through strain-associated negative emotions and whether the negative emotions-deviance relationship is systematic in terms of inner versus outer directedness. Latent-variable s...
Article
Research on incarcerated offenders trained to help prisoners change is rare because programs that equip inmates with practical capacities for helping others rehabilitate in prison hardly exist. An exception is the Field Ministry program in Texas, which enlists inmates who have graduated from a prison-based seminary to work as “Field Ministers” and...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose Despite a recent surge of interest in the role that self-identity plays in the process of desistance from crime, prior research has been mostly qualitative and conducted with small samples of adult offenders. In addition, while what people expect to become in the future can also function as motivational and sustaining forces toward prosocia...
Article
Purpose: We examine whether general strain theory (GST) explains within-individual changes in crime and illicit drug use over time. We also test whether an index of criminal coping propensity and markers for the propensity condition the effects of strain on crime and illicit drug use, considering the non-linearity of conditioning effects. Methods:...
Article
Using archival and site-based research, this article explores operational practices at six U.S. prison seminary programs regarding concepts of religious establishment. Further highlighted is a shift toward faith-based volunteerism as a “structural charity” in correctional budgeting. While religious programs offer powerfully transformative access to...
Chapter
Scholarly discussion and empirical study of the religion-crime relationship goes back to the beginning of criminological thought, though at times such discussion and study has been limited in content and crude in approach. Nonetheless, religion has rarely been incorporated into major theories of crime and criminological research. However, scientifi...
Article
Although there is evidence that divorce and volunteering are related, little is known about the process by which divorce affects volunteering. Using four-wave panel data spanning 16 years, this study examines the causal mechanisms underlying changes in volunteering following divorce. Results from estimating structural equation models indicated that...
Article
This paper examines the moral community thesis in the secular context of China. Using multilevel logistic regression, we test (1) whether both individual-(measured by affiliation with Islam, Buddhism and Christianity) and aggregate-level religiosity (measured by the number of mosques, Buddhist temples, and churches per 10,000 people in province) ar...
Article
Full-text available
Although prior research tends to show that religion has a salutary effect on mental health and a preventive effect on crime, studies explaining the religious effect, particularly those on offenders, have been limited. To address the issue, we examine whether religiosity is inversely related to negative emotions and aggressiveness among prison inmat...
Article
This article examines whether an individual’s religiosity has reciprocal relationships with crime and drug use among juvenile offenders. Structural equation modeling is applied to analyze 11-wave panel data from a study of juveniles adjudicated or found guilty of a serious offense in two states. Offenders’ religiosity is measured both objectively (...
Preprint
This paper examines the moral community thesis in the secular context of China. Using multilevel logistic regression, we test (1) whether both individual- (measured by affiliation with institutional religion) and aggregate-level religiosity (measured by the number of religious sites per 10,000 people in province) are inversely related to law and ru...
Article
This paper extends research on images of God, which prior researchers based mostly on national survey data, to a study of offenders in prison. We first explore whether the distribution of Froese and Bader’s (America’s four gods: What we say about god–& what that says about us, Oxford University Press, New York 2010) four images of God among prison...
Experiment Findings
Full-text available
Despite the growing number of responsible fatherhood programs, only a few of them have been evaluated based on a randomized controlled trial. To fill this gap in evaluation research on fatherhood programs, we conducted a single-blind, randomized, controlled trial to assess the effectiveness of an Ohio-based fatherhood program called “TYRO Dads” in...
Article
Full-text available
The authors examine an offender’s images of God – beliefs concerning God’s forgiveness, engagement, and judgment – in relation to prison misconduct. They test whether these beliefs are related inversely to misconduct and, if so, whether the relationships are mediated by an inmate’s religious involvement. The authors apply latent-variable structural...
Article
Full-text available
We examined the religion–deviance relationship in China, analyzing the 2010 China General Social Survey data to estimate ordinary least squares, logistic, and negative binomial regression models. First, we found respondents who followed some form of religion to be no different from those without religion in law or rule violation. Second, respondent...
Article
Full-text available
This study proposes a concept called "existential spirituality" defined as the extent of a person's belief in ultimate truth and meaning in life and explores the relationship between existential spirituality and distress (with and without controlling for religiosity, which prior research found to be inversely related to distress). To empirically ex...
Article
Despite methodological advances in studying the relationship between religious attendance and volunteering, its dynamic nature still needs to be elucidated. We apply growth curve modeling to examine whether trajectories of religious attendance and volunteering are related to each other over a 15-year period in a nationally representative sample fro...
Article
This article examines differences in alcohol use between homeschool and both public and private school students. Applying regression analyses to two waves of the National Study of Youth and Religion, we found that homeschoolers were less likely to drink alcohol and get drunk than non-homeschoolers, which was explained in part by variables of social...
Article
Using data from a nationally representative sample of American adult males (N = 2,512), this study examines (a) whether duration of membership in the Boy Scouts of America is associated with adult civic engagement and (b) whether five characteristics of positive youth development (confidence, competence, connection, character, and caring) account f...
Article
Full-text available
Contemporary research on adolescent involvement in religion and delinquency is generally traced to Hirschi and Stark’s 1969 study, titled “Hellfire and Delinquency.” Their study surprised many by reporting no significant relationship between religious involvement and delinquency. Subsequent replications provided mixed results, but multiple reviews,...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The Indiana Faith and Character Training ( INFACT) initiative originated in the Indiana Department of Correction (IDOC) in 2005, through the launch of the Purposeful Living Units Serve (PLUS) program at three IDOC facilities: the Correctional Industrial Facility in Pendleton, the Indiana Women’s Prison and the Plainfield Juvenile Correctional Facil...
Article
Full-text available
This article offers an ethnographic account of the "self-projects" of inmate graduates of Louisiana State Penitentiary's (aka "Angola's") unique prison seminary program. Angola's Inmate Minister program deploys seminary graduates in bivocational pastoral service roles throughout America's largest maximum-security prison. Drawing upon the unique his...
Article
Full-text available
We analyzed whether a Bible college program had an impact on prison misconduct by examining 230 offenders in the Texas prison system. Findings suggest participation in the Bible college significantly improved offender behavior, reducing misconduct by one discipline conviction per participant. The results also showed that participation significantly...
Chapter
Full-text available
Strain theories state that certain strains or stressors lead to negative emotions, which create pressure for corrective action. Crime is one possible response, especially when people lack the ability to cope in a legal manner; the costs of criminal coping are low, and there is some disposition for criminal coping. Classic strain theories focus on o...
Article
Full-text available
Conceptualizing adolescent drinking and delinquency as adaptations to strain, we explore whether they (a) decrease or increase the probability of feeling depression and anxiety later and (b) ameliorate or aggravate the effect of strain on the negative emotions over time. These relationships are also examined for gender differences by analyzing data...
Article
Full-text available
This study explores whether youth involvement in Scouting has positive consequences later in life. We examine whether the number of years of participation in Scouting is positively associated with human and social capital and recreational lifestyles in adulthood, and whether these are linked to subjective well-being: relational, emotional, and phys...
Chapter
Terence P. Thornberry called his theory "interactional" because it was based on the premise that crime and delinquency are a behavioral outcome of social interactions between a person and his or her environment. Combining control and social learning theories of delinquency, inter-actional theory offers a model of bidirectional causality and develop...
Article
Full-text available
Although studies have been conducted to examine the applicability of Agnew's general strain theory (GST) to the explanation of school bullying, GST research on the phenomenon remains limited in number and scope. To fill this gap in research, using data from a sample of 296 middle school students in a southwestern state of the United States, this ar...
Article
Full-text available
In recent years, scholars have become concerned about the effects that declining levels of social capital are having on community life in the United States. Data suggest that Americans are less likely to interact with neighbors and less likely to participate in community groups than they were in the past. Nevertheless, researchers have found that p...
Article
Full-text available
This study examines Sampson and Laub's concept of turning point as process as well as event in the explanation of changes and stability in the behavior of binge drinking between adolescence and emerging adulthood. It is hypothesized that marriage and involvement in religious and volunteer activities during the transition to adulthood decrease binge...
Article
Full-text available
Studies that examine the effects of adolescent religiosity on the initiation of, persistence in, and desistence from delinquency are rare. Yet, religion may differentially affect dimensions of delinquency in the early life course. Therefore, using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health), we examine the relationsh...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose: Despite continued increase in research on general strain theory (GST), previous studies on the relationship between GST and other criminological theories has been limited. To fill this gap in GST research, the present study aims to examine whether non-strain variables of social bonding theory, social learning theory, and self-control theor...
Article
Full-text available
Previous research finds drug-using peers and religiosity to be key predictors of drug use among youth, but the effects of childhood exposure to drug users and religion on later drug use have been understudied. The authors hypothesize a child’s exposure to parental drug use and religious upbringing have a causal influence on drug use in youth primar...
Article
Full-text available
Most of the previous research on religion and mental health has focused solely on Western, predominantly Christian societies. Using a 2004 national survey of 1,881 adults in Taiwan, this study investigates the relationships between multidimensional measures of religiousness/spirituality and psychological distress in an Eastern context. Our findings...
Article
Full-text available
Few studies have examined the effect of religiosity on the initiation of, persistence in, and desist-ence from delinquency. Yet religiosity may differentially affect these dimensions of delinquency in the early life course. Using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health), we study the relationship between religiosi...
Article
Full-text available
Although previous studies have found that black youths use drugs less than white youths, black-white differences have rarely been explained by using data that span childhood through young adulthood. To fill this research gap, we employ nationally representative panel data to examine whether race differences occur because black youths (1) are less l...
Chapter
Full-text available
The paper traces the role of religion in contemporary criminology as well as reviewing the development of scholarly interest in religion within the field of criminology. We begin with a systematic review of 270 published studies in order to better understand the state of the literature examining the relationship between religion and crime. Our syst...
Article
Full-text available
Although previous studies tend to find that religiosity is negatively associated with drug use, their findings are mostly nondevelopmental, whether based on cross-sectional or longitudinal data. Taking a life course perspective, we examine the effects of childhood religious socialization as well as involvement on drug use during later years. Based...
Article
Full-text available
This paper empirically evaluates Broidy and Agnew's propositions, in which they apply general strain theory to explain gender differences in crime and deviance, by analyzing data from a national survey of adult African Americans. First, African American women were more likely to report strains related to physical health, interpersonal relations, ge...
Article
Full-text available
This study tests Agnew's general strain theory (GST) for African Americans, a population neglected in GST research. Specifically, we examined (a) the differential effects of inner-and outer-directed negative emotions on withdrawing behavior and (b) the conditioning effects of social support on the understudied, deviant coping behavior. OLS regressi...
Article
Drawing on Broidy and Agnew's (1997) extension of general strain theory to explain gender differences in deviance and crime, we tested hypotheses explaining why women are more distressed than men, but less likely to commit deviance in reaction to strain. Applying structural equation modeling to analyze data from a national survey of African America...
Article
This study applies Smith's (2003a) theory of religious effects to account for the link between religiosity and distress. Using a latent-variable structural equation modeling approach, we analyze survey data from a nationally representative sample of African-American adults and find empirical support for our hypotheses. In terms of anger, depression...
Article
Full-text available
This study tested developmental hypotheses, derived from Thornberry's interactional theory, about the age-varying effects of attachment to parents, commitment to school, association with drug-using peers, and pro-drug attitudes on adolescents' drug use. Multilevel modeling was applied to test the hypotheses by analyzing data from the National Youth...
Article
This study shows that Asian American adolescents commit less deviance in the form of school misbehavior than white, black, Hispanic, or Native American adolescents. Social control and social learning theories receive support as the observed differences are explained primarily by race/ethnic differences in family backgrounds and school bonding. Thes...
Article
We hypothesize about the relationships among perceived neighborhood disorder, individual religiosity, and adolescent use of illicit drugs, marijuana and hard drugs; and the age-varying effects of religiosity on illicit drug use. Applying hierarchical linear models to analyze the National Youth Survey data, we first find that neighborhood disorder a...
Article
Full-text available
This study reexamines the relevance of religiosity to the etiology of delinquency, given the inconsistent and inconclusive evidence found in the literature. Like previous researchers, the authors test whether the effects of religiosity on delinquency are spurious or completely indirect via social bonding, social learning, and sociodemographic varia...
Article
Full-text available
This paper proposes that individuals who report that they live in neighborhoods characterized by disorder--by crime, vandalism, graffiti, danger, noise, dirt, and drugs--have high levels of fear and mistrust. It further proposes that an individual's alliances and connections with neighbors can buffer the negative effects of living in a neighborhood...
Article
Full-text available
We examine the degree to which an individual's religious involvement significantly mediates and buffers the effects of neighborhood disorder on youth crime. To test this hypothesis, we analyzed the fifth wave of data from the National Youth Survey, focusing on black respondents given the historical as well as contemporary significance of the Africa...
Article
This paper proposes that individuals who report that they live in neighborhoods characterized by disorder—by crime, vandalism, graffiti, danger, noise, dirt, and drugs—have high levels of fear and mistrust. It further proposes that an individual's alliances and connections with neighbors can buffer the negative effects of living in a neighborhood c...
Article
Full-text available
With the theoretical backdrop of social disorganization and “resilient youth” perspectives, we hypothesize that individual religiosity is protective in helping at-risk youths such as those living in poor inner-city areas to escape from drug use and other illegal activities. To test this hypothesis, we draw data from an interview survey of 2,358 you...
Article
Few criminologists have directly examined whether the importance of family, school, and peers in the etiology of delinquency changes over the developmental period of adolescence. This study tests hypotheses, derived from Thornberry's (1987) interactional theory, about the age-varying effects of attachment to parents, commitment to school, and assoc...
Article
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Article
Full-text available
The study discussed in this article investigated the effects of social and economic disadvantage on parent distress, family processes, and adolescent mental health in a longitudinal, multiethnic sample of 800 urban adolescents and parents. The findings support the hypothesis that poverty, life stressors, and isolation affect parent mood and disrupt...