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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 219207 Find in a Library
Title: Relative Importance of Mothers' and Youths' Neighborhood Perceptions for Youth Alcohol Use and Delinquency
Journal: Journal of Youth and Adolescence  Volume:36  Issue:5  Dated:July 2007  Pages:649-659
Author(s): Hilary F. Byrnes; Meng-Jinn Chen; Brenda A. Miller; Eugene Maguin
Date Published: July 2007
Page Count: 11
Sponsoring Agency: US Dept of Health and Human Services
Rockville, MD 20892-9304
Grant Number: R01 AA0755409;T32 AA014125
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study investigated the relative importance of mothers’ versus youths’ perceptions of neighborhood problems for youth alcohol use and delinquency involvement.
Abstract: Results indicated that youths’ perceptions of neighborhood problems were more important in predicting delinquent behavior than were mothers’ perceptions of neighborhood problems. Moreover, youths who reported more neighborhood problems also reported engaging in higher levels of delinquency. In particular, three indicators of youths’ neighborhood perceptions were associated with delinquency involvement: (1) higher neighborhood levels of poor schools; (2) greater awareness of drug use/dealing in the open; and (3) more reports of drug/crack houses. The authors speculate that youths who are aware of deviant problems in the neighborhood are aware of them because they have begun to engage in problem behaviors that bring them in contact with deviant groups in the neighborhood. The findings have problematic implications for crime prevention programs that hinge on parental supervision. If parents are unaware of neighborhood problems, these types of prevention programs may not be effective in deterring delinquency. Future research should focus on the factors that determine youths’ perceptions of their neighborhoods. Participants were 499 mother-child dyads (children were ages 10 to 16 years) who were part of a larger study that assessed the effects of mothers’ alcohol use on their children’s behavior. Mothers were recruited through outpatient alcohol treatment facilities and from the community in western New York. Mothers and children were separately interviewed regarding perceptions of their neighborhood, alcohol use, and delinquency. Descriptive statistics and confirmatory factor analysis were used to analyze the data. Tables, figures, references
Main Term(s): Neighborhood; Perception
Index Term(s): Juvenile delinquency factors; Juvenile delinquency research; Parental influence; Peer influences on behavior
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