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NCJ Number: 203435 Find in a Library
Title: Does the Relationship Between Family Structure and Delinquency Vary According to Circumstances? An Investigation of Interaction Effects
Journal: Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice  Volume:45  Issue:4  Dated:October 2003  Pages:405-429
Author(s): Christopher A. Kierkus; Douglas Baer
Date Published: October 2003
Page Count: 25
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Canada
Annotation: This article discusses the impact of familial disruption on delinquent behavior.
Abstract: This study tested a series of hypotheses involving the interaction of family structure with both gender and socioeconomic status (SES) in determining the risk of delinquency. The data source was the Addiction Research Foundation’s Ontario Student Drug Use Survey, based on a stratified, single-stage cluster probability sampling design. A series of logistic regression models were estimated using family structure, gender, SES, and a family structure by gender interaction term as independent predictors of delinquency. A series of regression models testing the null hypothesis that the criminogenic influence of family structure is identical across levels of SES was estimated using a similar procedure. The findings of the study suggest that the influence of family structure on delinquency is statistically identical for boys and girls. Highly limited support was found for the hypothesis that SES and family structure interact in producing delinquency. It is possible that familial disruption has approximately the same net criminogenic influence on boys and girls. Future research should address this issue by estimating the extent to which social control and strain variables intervene between familial disruption and delinquency in male and female samples. The analysis shows that familial disruptions promote truancy only in certain kinds of high SES, non-traditional families. The overall conclusion by this analysis is that the effect of family structure on delinquent behavior is largely invariant to both gender and SES. 1 figure, 1 table, 3 notes, 72 references
Main Term(s): Family structure; Juvenile delinquency factors
Index Term(s): Family histories; Home environment; Juvenile delinquency research; Male female offender comparisons; Parent-Child Relations; Socioeconomic causes of delinquency
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