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NCJ Number: 202351 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Parental Management, ADHD, and Delinquent Involvement: Reassessing Gottfredson and Hirschi's General Theory
Journal: Justice Quarterly  Volume:20  Issue:3  Dated:September 2003  Pages:471-500
Author(s): James D. Unnever; Francis T. Cullen; Travis C. Pratt
Date Published: September 2003
Page Count: 30
Sponsoring Agency: Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS)
Washington, DC 20530
Grant Number: 1999-SB-WX-0056
Type: Research (Theoretical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article discusses the impact of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) on self-control and delinquency.
Abstract: A core proposition of Gottfredson and Hirschi’s general theory of crime is that ineffective parenting fosters low self-control in children, which leads to delinquency. This study investigates whether ADHD may be an alternative source of delinquency and low self-control. The two core propositions of the general theory of crime, whether self-control is the major cause of juvenile delinquency and whether ineffective parenting is the exclusive cause of low self-control, were examined. ADHD is the most common neurobehavioral disorder of childhood and is among the most prevalent chronic health condition affecting school-aged children. The symptoms of ADHD are inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. The study sample was drawn from the 6 public middles schools that serve a metropolitan area with a diverse population of nearly 100,000 inhabitants in Virginia. The respondents that completed the survey closely matched the total population of students. Results show that the relationship between low self-control and delinquent involvement was strong and consistent. The low self-control-delinquency relationship held across both self-reported delinquency and self-reported arrests. The origins of self-control are likely to be multifaceted and not limited to parental management. ADHD medication status was a source of low self-control. There was partial support for Gottfredson and Hirschi’s view on parental management, self-control, and delinquency. Parental monitoring and consistent punishment were clearly related to self-control, with higher levels of monitoring and consistency in punishment associated with higher levels of self-control. For the general theory, the relationship of ADHD to low self-control suggests the origins of self-control are not limited to parental practices. ADHD is a condition that does not consign youths to delinquent behavior. It likely exposes them to risk factors that may foster delinquency in the absence of appropriate intervention. 1 figure, 2 tables, 12 footnotes, 89 references
Main Term(s): Attention deficit disorder (ADD); Juvenile delinquency factors
Index Term(s): Child development; Citizen gun ownership; Crime causes theory; Hyperactive children; Neurological disorders; Problem behavior
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