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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 236373 Find in a Library
Title: Parenthood and Crime: The Role of Wantedness, Relationships with Partners, and Ses
Journal: Journal of Criminal Justice  Volume:39  Issue:5  Dated:September/October 2011  Pages:405-416
Author(s): Peggy C. Giordano; Patrick M. Seffrin; Wendy D. Manning; Monica A. Longmore
Date Published: 2011
Page Count: 12
Sponsoring Agency: Ctr for Family and Demographic Research
Bowling Green, OH 43403-0218
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
Bethesda, MD 20892-2425
US Dept of Health and Human Services
Washington, DC 20201
Grant Number: HD036223;HD044206;5APRPA006009;R24HD050959-01
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Netherlands
Annotation: This longitudinal study draws on four waves of adolescent and young adult interview data and HLM regression models in order to examine the impact of parenthood on criminal trajectories, as well as the degree to which the prosocial potential of parenthood is modified by socioeconomic factors, the nature of the relationship between the biological parents, and the desire to be pregnant (“wantedness“).
Abstract: At the individual level, the study hypothesized that a positive attitude toward the pregnancy should influence the likelihood that parenthood would be beneficial to desistance from crime. The result of the analysis supports this view; however, basic descriptive data indicate that a majority of births were unwanted, but an examination of conditional effects showed that even an unwanted birth was associated with reduced crime among more advantaged respondents. The qualitative data also suggest the need to move beyond this general orientation toward the pregnancy in order to capture the centrality/place of parenthood in the individual’s “hierarchy of salience” (Stryker, 2008), and the degree to which individuals come to make a particular sort of cognitive connection; namely, that parenthood is fundamentally incompatible with the partying, drug dealing, or other actions that are linked to continued legal problems. The study was also attentive to the relationship domain, i.e., whether the individual cohabited with/was married to the other biological parent. Generally, relationship status was not a significant conditional factor; however, mothers living with the biological father experienced marginally significant reductions in criminal activity, as did similarly situated advantaged male respondents. The quantitative results showed significant effects for socioeconomic status on the parenthood-crime relationship. Having children was not strongly linked with changes in the criminal trajectories of disadvantaged respondents. 4 tables, 10 notes, and 77 references
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Crime prevention planning; Domestic relations; Gender issues; Juvenile to adult criminal careers; Longitudinal studies; Male female offender comparisons; Parental attitudes; Recidivism
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