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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 78375 Find in a Library
Title: Family Size and Birth Order of Young Offenders
Journal: International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology  Volume:25  Issue:1  Dated:(1981)  Pages:60-66
Author(s): D Biles; D Challinger
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 7
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: Over a 12-year period four independent surveys were conducted in the Australian State of Victoria which support the proposition that young offenders tend to come from large families and are more likely to be middle children.
Abstract: Only families with three to seven children were included in comparing findings from the four surveys, which consisted of sample sizes of 3,692 in 1966, 8,613 in 1972, 10,199 in 1975, and 6,556 in 1978. Distributions held for each survey, showing the overrepresentation of middle children among juvenile offenders appearing before the Victorian Children's Courts (and in some cases including even those children given official police warnings as an alternative to a court appearance). Chi squares used to test the significance of the percentages of middle children calculated and compared with the percentages for each family size also supported the finding. At the pragmatic level, findings suggest that when one child in a large family is the subject of police attention, consideration should be given to the total family situation. Results also have implications for family planning, with support offered for smaller families. Six tables and eight references are provided.
Index Term(s): Age group comparisons; Australia; Juvenile delinquency factors; Juvenile delinquency prediction; Juvenile delinquent family relations
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