skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 220357 Find in a Library
Title: Child Effects Explanation for the Association Between Family Risk and Involvement in an Antisocial Lifestyle
Journal: Journal of Adolescent Research  Volume:22  Issue:6  Dated:November 2007  Pages:640-664
Author(s): Kevin M. Beaver; John Paul Wright
Date Published: November 2007
Page Count: 25
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study evaluated two perspectives showing that various measures of family life are predictive of a range of child outcomes by estimating a series of structural equation models (SEMs) to test whether the family directly affects a child’s involvement in an antisocial lifestyle when controlling for reciprocal effects between the child and the family.
Abstract: Data were analyzed from the Cambridge Study in Delinquent Development to examine the reciprocal effects between family risk and involvement in an antisocial lifestyle. Results revealed that the measure of family risk did not have an appreciable effect on determining which boys would become embedded in an antisocial lifestyle. Importantly, the lack of an association between family risk and an antisocial lifestyle was observed not only in the longitudinal models but also in cross-sectional analyses that modeled reciprocal effects. When reciprocal effects between the family and the boy were modeled, the results revealed that boys’ involvement in an antisocial lifestyle significantly increased the risk level of the family. The analysis of the Cambridge Study in Delinquent Development data provides support in favor of a child-effects explanation for the relationship between family risk and an antisocial lifestyle. A contentious debate has been waged over the effects that parents and the family have on the development of children. One line of research reveals that experiences that occur within the household are the driving force for why children turn out the way that they do. Other findings indicate that the relationship between family experiences and different child outcomes is much more complex. Advocates of this position maintain that any association between parenting measures and child outcomes is spurious and can be partially accounted for by “child effects”. Data came from the Cambridge Study in Delinquent Development, which is a prospective longitudinal study of 411 boys residing in working-class areas of London. Figures, appendix, and references
Main Term(s): Parent-Child Relations
Index Term(s): Family crisis; Home environment; Juvenile delinquency; Juvenile delinquency factors; Juvenile delinquency research
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.