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: 70334 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Juvenile Delinquency and the Family - A Contextual Interpretation
Journal: Youth and Society  Volume:9  Issue:3  Dated:(March 1978)  Pages:299-313
Author(s): J W C Johnstone
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 15
Sponsoring Agency: Illinois Law Enforcement Cmssn (see Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority)

US Dept of Justice
Washington, DC 20531
Grant Number: 75NI-99-0013; 76JN-99-0004; A-70-52R; 1-09-25-0410-02; 2-09-25-0410-3;2-09-25-1138-04
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Data from questionnaires completed by over 1,200 Illinois youth in 1972 were analyzed to investigate family influences on delinquent behavior in relation to types of crime and the social environment.
Abstract: This study views delinquent behavior as a product of peer group influence, family influence, social class position, and pressures emanating from the external community. The sample was drawn from the Chicago Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area portion of a statewide survey of youth and represents every type of neighborhood setting in the area. Questionnaires were completed by males and females between 14-and 18-years old and covered a variety of topics concerning adolescent life, including family relationships, peer activities, and participation in illegal or quasi-illegal activities. Independent variables considered in the analysis were family socioeconomic status, community poverty, family integration, and association with delinquent peers. Dependent variables consisted of six types of deviant behavior: violent acts, criminal delinquency, automobile offenses, property offenses, use of illicit drugs, and status violations. The study found that family integration and peer pressures did not have a significant impact on violent behavior, but strongly influenced adolescent involvement with drugs and status offenses. Aggressive, serious delinquency was more responsive to economic deprivation and a hostile social environment. Thus. family disruptions play a more significant role in delinquency in affluent social settings rather than in deteriorated neighborhoods. Explanations of youthful rebelliousness which focus on personal relationships may only be relevant to an environment where survival and security needs have been met. Tables, notes and approximately 18 references are provided.
Index Term(s): Domestic relations; Home environment; Illinois; Juvenile delinquency factors; Peer influences on behavior; Social classes
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.