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NCJ Number: 249661 Find in a Library
Title: Viewing Law and Order: Mothers' and Sons' Justice System Legitimacy Attitudes and Juvenile Recidivism
Journal: Psychology Public Policy and Law  Volume:21  Issue:4  Dated:November 2015  Pages:432-441
Author(s): C. Cavanagh; E. Cauffman
Date Published: November 2015
Page Count: 10
Sponsoring Agency: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
Washington, DC 20531
Document: PDF
Type: Report (Grant Sponsored); Report (Study/Research); Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Article; Document (Online)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Since no research has explored how parents’ attitudes toward the justice system may be associated with youth attitudes, the current study used structural equation modeling to examine the link between youths’ and their mothers’ attitudes toward the legitimacy of the justice system and the effect these attitudes have on juvenile offenders’ reoffending behavior.
Abstract: Negative attitudes toward the justice system are associated with higher rates of reoffending, but there is little information about how these negative attitudes are formed among youth. For the current study, mothers and their sons (N = 315 pairs, 630 total) were interviewed after the son’s first arrest and again 12 months later. Results indicate that sons’ attitudes (directly) and mothers’ attitudes (indirectly) predicted increased youth self-reported reoffending 12 months after the first offense. Furthermore, mothers’ attitudes indirectly predicted youth official rearrests 12 months after the first offense. No racial differences were found. These findings provide evidence that mothers socialize youth attitudes toward the justice system, and suggest that family context may influence youth probationary success. When designing both legislation and interventions, practitioners and policymakers must keep in mind the broader family context in which youth offenders are embedded. (Publisher abstract modified)
Main Term(s): Juvenile Risk Factors
Index Term(s): Antisocial attitudes; Attitude measurement; Juvenile delinquency factors; OJJDP grant-related documents; OJJDP Resources; Parental attitudes; Parental influence
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