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Social Structure and Delinquency: Family Schools Community Work. Part IV: Social Structure and Delinquency. Study Guide for Part IV. Readings Part 4 Intro (231-238) Cernkovich & Giordano, (239-262) Williams & Kornblum, (263-274) Bowditch (275-296) Wright and Cullen, (323-350).

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Social structure and delinquency family schools community work

Social Structure and Delinquency:FamilySchoolsCommunityWork

Part IV: Social Structure and Delinquency

Study guide for part iv
Study Guide for Part IV

  • Readings

  • Part 4 Intro (231-238)

  • Cernkovich & Giordano,


  • Williams & Kornblum,


  • Bowditch (275-296)

  • Wright and Cullen, (323-350)

  • Lectures

  • “The Lost Children of Rockdale County” video (Tuesday July 19th & Wednesday July 20th)

  • Social Structure and Delinquency (Thursday July 21th)

  • Social Structure and Delinquency, Cont’d (Friday July 22th)

CRIM 441 Juvenile Delinquency Summer 2011

Memo reading check
Memo – Reading Check

You have 5-6 minutes to complete this memo.

1) According to Bowditch, why are schools, in part, responsible for juvenile crime?

2) Which theory of delinquency is used to explain the “production of dropouts” in Bowditch’s article?

3) What methodological approach does Bowditch use to collect data for her study?

Memo reading check1
Memo – Reading Check

You have 5-6 minutes to complete this memo.

1) According to Bowditch, why are schools, in part, responsible for juvenile crime?

Disciplinary procedures force the worst “troublemakers” to leave school, allowing them more opportunity to offend

2) Which theory of delinquency is used to explain the “production of dropouts” in Bowditch’s article?

Labeling theory / Conflict Theory

3) What methodological approach does Bowditch use to collect data for her study?

Qualitative Data from Case Study (1 High School)

Part iv introduction
Part IV Introduction

  • Social Structure-

    • Patterns of social interaction and institutional arrangements that endure over time and that enable or constrain people’s choices and opportunities

  • 4 Social Institutions we will cover:

    • Community, Family, Schools, Work (i.e. Paid Employment)

  • Review of Theories

    • Social Control Theory, Labeling Theory, Social Disorganization Theory, Strain Theory (Anomie)

  • Delinquency community
    Delinquency & Community

    • Intergenerational Closure (IC): When a youth’s parents know more of their children’s friends’ parents

    • Individual level- Research shows kids with high IC have better educational outcomes, less likelihood of dropping out, fewer acts of delinquency by age 18.

    • Community level- Aggregate social capital generated by IC among students’ parents in the school-based community

    • STABILITY not DISADVANTAGE is the most consistent predictor of intergenerational closure in a community.

    Delinquency family
    Delinquency & Family

    • Each of these four factors are linked to antisocial behavior and juvenile delinquency.

    • Interaction between these factors may escalate delinquent behavior.

    • Prevention or intervention efforts may be directed at one or more of these youth/family areas.

    • Let’s discuss each one…

    Four factors of family influence
    Four Factors of Family Influence

    • Family Breakup

      • See Cernkovich and Giordano article

      • The “broken home” hypothesis argues that when one or both parents are absent (physically or emotionally), children are prone to antisocial and delinquent behavior

    • Family Conflict

      • Intrafamily conflict is common; children who grow up in these dysfunctional homes often exhibit aggressive behavior at a young age and continue to act out as they age (including delinquency)

    • Which is worse?

      • Growing up in a “broken home” or growing up in a home full of conflict? Research shows that children in conflict-filled homes have lower levels of adjustment than kids from divorced families (or in other non-traditional family structures).

    Cernkovich and giordano
    Cernkovich and Giordano

    • Family Relationships and Delinquency

    • What aspects of parenting/family relationships matter most for delinquency?

      • Number of parents (family structure)

      • Quality of relationship between child and parent(s)

    • Family processes must be properly conceptualized and operationalized (to know relative importance compared to school and peers)

    • Findings: No relationship between family structure and delinquency (No “broken home” effect); Important sex/race differences in interaction dynamics

    • Limitations: Sample size did not adequately represent certain types of family structures (i.e. needed more mother/stepfather or father-only families)

    Four factors of family influence1
    Four Factors of Family Influence

    • Family Neglect

      • Parental Efficacy is the ability of parents to raise their children in a non-coercive environment. There is a relationship between inconsistent discipline and lack of proper supervision and delinquency.

    • Family Deviance

      • Parental deviance is a powerful influence for a child’s delinquency. Research has found strong evidence for intergenerational deviance (and incarceration). The cause for this is unknown, but experts suggest that genetic problems due to parental alcoholism, hereditary antisocial personality disorders, and social learning processes may be to blame.

    • Solutions

      • Effective parenting practices must begin early in the life course. Improved parenting skills later on may be helpful though in improving family interactions.

    Delinquency family cont d
    Delinquency & Family (cont’d)

    • Siblings

      • Family size may lead to resource dilution (the idea is that as number of children increases, social and economic resources to care for them are fewer and less effective)

      • Contagion effects may include negative, crime-promoting influences that one deviant sibling has on their brothers and sisters

      • Shared environment represents the identical (positive or negative) aspects of growing up that the siblings shared, including housing or neighborhood, etc.

      • Non-shared environment represents the different aspects of growing up that siblings experience outside of the family home (friends, school, etc.) but also any differential parenting

    Williams and kornblum
    Williams and Kornblum

    • Players and Ho’s; excerpt from Growing Up Poor

    • Ethnography of inner-city youths

    • An in-depth look at family relationships (including very negative interactions) in a broader community context

      • “Underground economy” – What is it?

      • Self-image of “Street wise and cynical” vs. “lost and fallen” – Why is this important?

    • How much does the community (described by the authors as “devastated by crime, addiction and violence”) matter for the delinquency of youth?

    Delinquency school
    Delinquency & School

    • Schools serve as main source of youth socialization

      • Academic achievement is a determinant of economic/social status, schools actually help students define “success” in terms of academics, money/profit, and position in society (Crime and the American Dream)

    • School Failure can result in frustration, anger, reduced self-esteem, etc. It has been shown to be a contributory factor to delinquent behavior.

      • Causes: Social class/Inequality in resource allocation; Tracking; School Climate/Culture; Bullying/Alienation;

    Delinquency school1
    Delinquency & School

    • Crimes that happen AT school

      • The School Crime Victimization Survey

      • School Shootings: Myths vs. Reality

    • The School Substance Abuse Survey

      • There are MORE drugs/drug use in schools than we think

      • Seven Signs of Trouble in School

        • Smoking, Drinking, Drugs, Weapons, Expulsion for drugs, Student death in drug-or alcohol-related incidents, students showing up in class drunk or stoned

    • School Crime Prevention

      • School security efforts: surveillance, metal detectors, school-based security officers (private or law-enforcement), random searches,

      • Social Programs: Links to community and social services assistance (idea is that schools are safer only if we fix the larger problems plaguing students, families, and their environment).

      • Socially disorganized communities are often linked to high-crime schools


    • Getting Rid of Troublemakers: High School Disciplinary Procedures and the Production of Dropouts

    • “School is a social institution that can weaken the bond between youth and society”…Do you agree?

    • The social construction (think labeling theory) of a “troublemaker”

    • Differences and Similarities between being a “troublemaker” and “at risk”

    • Role of other social institutions: parents, community (and work)

    Delinquency work
    Delinquency & Work

    • Most youth will engage in paid work at some point in adolescence.

    • Moderate work (1-20 hours) is most common.

    • Benefits and Harms of Teenage Work (variety of studies-some conflict…)

      • Benefits

        • Vocational guidance and job-related skills, develop long-term occupational values, references and work history benefits young adulthood employment opportunities, earns money, improved relationship with parents and peers, reduce behavioral problems,

      • Harms

        • Increased risk of poor school performance, substance use, behavioral problems, more time in unsupervised activities with peers

    Delinquency work1
    Delinquency & Work

    • Legal vs. Underground Economy (remember Players and Ho’s)

    • When few jobs for teenagers exist, what KIND of teenagers will get them?

    • Job Training Programs

      • Job Corps –

        • No-cost program administered by the U.S. Department of Labor for youth ages 16 through 24 improve the quality of their lives through vocational and academic training in a safe, drug-free environment.

      • YouthBuild U.S.A.

        • In YouthBuild programs, low-income young people ages 16-24 work toward their GEDs or high school diplomas, learn job skills and serve their communities by building affordable housing, and transform their own lives and roles in society.

    Wright cullen
    Wright & Cullen

    • Juvenile Involvement in Occupational Delinquency

    • “White collar crime” – a person of respectability and high social status in the course of his occupation (Sutherland’s definition)

      • But not all occupational crime is so “white collar”

    • Three factors contribute to widespread teen employment

      • Service economy, Consumption desires, Parental belief (esp. middle class) that employment is beneficial/builds character

  • How can the workplace itself be criminogenic?

  • Wright cullen1
    Wright & Cullen

    • Modeling Effects of Self-Selection into Negative Work Environments, Delinquent Coworker Networks, and Occupational Delinquency (Figure 15.1 on pg338)

    Negative Work Environment

    Coworker Delinquency


    Occupational Delinquency

    Note: Some extraneous statistical information has been removed from the original figure.

    Staff vaneseltine woolnough silver burrington forthcoming in journal of research on adolescence
    Staff, VanEseltine, Woolnough, Silver & Burrington(forthcoming in Journal of Research on Adolescence)

    • Adolescent Work Experiences and Family Formation Behavior

      • Nationally Representative Data (AddHealth)

      • Examined effects of Paid Work on Sexual Debut, Pregnancy, Residential Independence, and Union Formation

        • Controlled for variables in school, family, and peer domains

      • 3 Categories of Employment (no work, moderate 1-20 hours, intense 21+ hours)

    Staff et al cont d
    Staff et al. (cont’d)

    • Major Findings

      • Youth who worked intensively during the school year were more likely to engage in early family formation behaviors.

      • Moderate work had no effect (no difference in family formation behaviors compared to non-workers).

      • Why? Intensive workers also show signs of school disengagement/school failure, increased autonomy from parents, and unsupervised socializing with peers.

    • Limitation: Which comes first? Orientation towards future career or family roles might predict both intensive work investments and family formation behaviors.