Self-Reported Delinquency scale

The SelfReported Delinquency Scale (SRDS) is a tool used to measure delinquent behavior in adolescents. It is a selfreport questionnaire that assesses the frequency and severity of delinquent acts committed by an individual over the past year. The SRDS consists of 36 items, each asking the respondent to indicate the frequency of a particular delinquent act. Responses are rated on a fivepoint Likert scale ranging from never (0) to more than five times (4). The SRDS measures a variety of delinquent behaviors, including theft, drug use, vandalism, and physical aggression. The SRDS is a reliable and valid measure of delinquent behavior in adolescents. It has been found to be sensitive to changes in delinquent behavior over time and to differences between groups of adolescents. The SRDS has been used extensively in research on delinquency and juvenile justice, and it is often used to assess the effectiveness of delinquency prevention programs. The SRDS is also used in clinical settings to assess the severity of delinquent behavior in adolescents.
In the past 30 days‚ have you …
1. Run away from home?
2. Skipped classes without an excuse?
3. Lied about your age to get into someplace or to buy something (for example‚ lying about your age to get into a movie or to buy alcohol)?
4. Hitchhiked a ride with a stranger?
5. Carried a hidden weapon?
6. Been loud or rowdy in a public place where somebody complained and you got in trouble?
7. Begged for money or things from strangers?
8. Made obscene telephone calls‚ such as calling someone and saying dirty things?
9. Been drunk in a public place?
10. Damaged‚ destroyed or marked up somebody else’s property on purpose?
11. Set fire on purpose or tried to set fire to a house‚ building‚ or car?
12. Avoided paying for things‚ like a movie‚ taking bus rides‚ using a computer‚ or anything else (including video games)?
13. Gone into or tried to go into a building to steal or damage something?
14. Tried to steal or actually stolen money or things worth $5 or less?
15. How about between $5 and $50?
16. How about between $50 and $100?
17. How about over $100?
18. Shoplifted or taken something from a store on purpose (including anything you already told me about)?
19. Stolen someone’s purse or wallet or picked someone’s pocket?
20. Stolen something from a car that did not belong to you?
21. Tried to buy or sell things that were stolen?
22. Taken a car or motorcycle for a ride without the owner’s permission?
23. Stolen or tried to steal a car or other motor vehicle?
24. Forged a check or used fake money to pay for something?
25. Used or tried to use a credit card‚ bank card‚ or automatic teller card without permission?
26. Tried to cheat someone by selling them something that was not what you said it was or that was worthless?
27. Attacked someone with a weapon or with the idea of seriously hurting or killing them?
28. Hit someone with the idea of hurting them (other than what you have already mentioned)?
29. Been involved in gang or posse fights?
30. Thrown objects such as rocks or bottles at people (other than what you have already mentioned)?
31. Used a weapon or force to make someone give you money or things?
32. Been paid for ha‎ving sexual relations with someone?
33. Physically hurt or threatened to hurt someone to get them to have sex with you?
34. Had or tried to have sexual relations with someone against their will (other than what you have already mentioned)?
35. Sold marijuana‚ reefer or pot?
36. Sold hard drugs such as crack‚ heroin‚ cocaine‚ LSD or acid?
This index measures the self-reported frequency of 36 delinquent acts. Respondents are asked to indicate if they have engaged in a variety of problem or delinquent behaviors in the past month.
  • Delinquency and Antisocial Behavior
This instrument can be found on pages 206-208 of Measuring Violence-Related Attitudes‚ Behaviors‚ and Influences Among Youths: A Compendium of Assessment Tools‚ available online at:
Youths initially in grades 7-8 in 1988‚ and followed into adulthood.
Point values are assigned as follows:
  • Yes
  • No
“Yes” responses are assigned a point value of 1‚ then summed. Higher scores indicate a greater level of delinquency.

Thornberry TP‚ Krohn MD‚ Lizotte AJ‚ Smith CA‚ Tobin K. Gangs and delinquency in developmental perspective. New York: Cambridge University Press‚ 2003.