1 / 16

Social Correlates of Delinquency

Social Correlates of Delinquency. The Family. Why Look at the Family as a Causal Context for Delinquency?. History of childhood and delinquency reveals that the family has been charged with primary responsibility for socialization of children

Download Presentation

Social Correlates of Delinquency

An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author. Content is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use only. Download presentation by click this link. While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server. During download, if you can't get a presentation, the file might be deleted by the publisher.


Presentation Transcript

  1. Social Correlates of Delinquency The Family

  2. Why Look at the Family as a Causal Context for Delinquency? • History of childhood and delinquency reveals that the family has been charged with primary responsibility for socialization of children • It is within the context of the family thatprimary relations are first formed • Basic values are first formed here • We have also seen that historical forces in America disrupted family life

  3. Family Variables Linked to Delinquency: The Broken Home I • Variable interest in the broken family as a cause of delinquency • Early research: • Found that broken home had a profound effect • Seemed to affect girls more than boys • Seemed to affect whites more than other ethnic groups • Seemed to affect the affluent more than poor • Homes broken by divorce more devastating than homes broken by death

  4. Family Variables Linked to Delinquency: The Broken Home II • The broken home reconsidered • More recent studies have been inconclusive • Many of early studies were conducted among arrestees and in correctional institutions--possible bias in samples • Self-report studies suggest a less clear-cut relationship • Some concluding thoughts: • Divorce does seem to be more correlated than death • Broken home probably affects status offenses more than serious delinquency • Remarriage does not mitigate effect of divorce on youth • Continued contact with non-custodial parent does not mitigate • Little evidence that behavior of children in broken homes improves over time • Post-divorce conflict related to child maladjustment

  5. Family Variables Linked to Delinquency: Family Conflict • Intra-family conflict and discord have long been associated with delinquency • Various factors operative: • emotional disturbance • low warmth and affection • low social skills • Difficult to establish whether family conflict causes childhood maladies or vice versa • Relative consequences of the broken home vs. family discord • Recent review of literature suggests that both situations are deleterious • Children of divorced parents probably fare better than children of high-conflict families

  6. Family Variables Linked to Delinquency:Parental Rejection • Generally believed that children need warm, supportive relationships to thrive • Most studies have used boys in their samples • Early studies suggested that rejection by either mother or father was related to delinquency • Joan McCord’s research finds that mother’s rejection is more significant in early years; father’s in later years

  7. Family Variables Linked to Delinquency:Discipline • Gluecks--found that lax or erratic discipline was most associated with delinquency • Nye--found that very erratic, strict, or very permissive discipline most associated with delinquency. • Strauss--found that physical punishment tends to be more associated with delinquency.

  8. Family Variables Linked to Delinquency:Family Role Models • Gluecks--find discipline ineffective when parental behavior is inconsistent • Hirschi--found that even criminal parents espouse conventional values. Intimacy between parents more important than role modeling • Laub and Sampson--find that parental deviance related to chronic delinquency • Rowe and Gulley--find that siblings have an impact on delinquency if relationship is intimate

  9. Family Variables Linked to Delinquency:Family Size • Some evidence suggests that larger families may be productive of delinquency • suggested that this may be due to a “dilution of resources.” • Relationship is usually seen as more indirect • resource dilution often leads to educational underachievement • family size also related to social class

  10. A Special Case:The Abusive Family • Defining child abuse and neglect: • Abuse--historically defined as “any non-accidental physical injury inflicted on a child by a parent…” • has come to be used more generically to include neglect as well • Neglect--more passive, referring to the deprivations that children suffer at hands of parents or guardians. Three broad types: • Physical neglect • Emotional neglect • Moral neglect

  11. Extent of Child Abuse:Reported Cases • All states have laws for certain professionals to report child abuse, but these cases represent only a tip of the iceberg • Leading organization in reporting is the National Committee to Prevent Child Abuse (NCPCA) • Reported 3.1 million cases in 1995 (up 5% from 1994, and up 50% from 1985) • 26% of these were physical abuse • 10% sexual abuse • 53% neglect • 3% emotional maltreatment • 17% “other” • NCPCA estimates about 1,200 children killed each year because of abuse

  12. Extent of Child Abuse:Unreported Cases • Research by Murray Strauss in 1980: • between 1.4 and 1.9 million children abused annually • the average number of assaults for each child was 10.5 (median 4.5) • Estimates are that as many as 1 in 10 boys and 1 in 3 girls have been sexually abused

  13. The Abused and the Abusers • Most likely to be abused: • Infants (especially premature infants) • Illegitimate children • Hyperactive children • Boys • Circumstantial • Most likely to abuse (in order) • Natural parents • Step parents • Paramours • Other relatives • Babysitters/non-relative caretakers

  14. What Causes Child Abuse? • Adults who have been abused themselves • Social isolation and alienation • Substance abuse • Social Class • This has been controversial, though most experts agree that there is a higher incidence in the lower class • Perhaps due to financial stress

  15. Relationship between Child Abuse and Delinquency • Logical relationship • Abuse provides a role model for aggression • Abuse leaves one more vulnerable to stress • Clinical Histories • Studies of incarcerated delinquents reveal that a substantial majority have been abused in some way as children • Problem with these studies is that they do not tell us about the known population of abused children and the % of them who are delinquents • Also, it may be that child abused is caused by the delinquency! Modeling of Aggression Vulnerability to Stress Abuse Delinquency

  16. Cohort Studies on Abuse and Delinquency • This method follows up cohorts of children who have been abused and compares their delinquency to non-abused youth • A major study by Cathy Widom found that 27% of abused youth (compared with 17% of non-abused youth) later had criminal records • Certain categories more affected by abuse than others; older, black males most affected • General conclusions: • Abuse increases likelihood of juvenile arrest by 53% • Abuse increases likelihood of adult arrest by 38% • In a follow-up, Widom found greater likelihood of persistent offending over time by abused children

More Related