Linking Family Processes and Adolescent Delinquency

Ronald L. Simons, Leslie Gordon Simons and Donna Hancock

in The Oxford Handbook of Juvenile Crime and Juvenile Justice

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780195385106
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Linking Family Processes and Adolescent Delinquency

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  • Criminology and Criminal Justice
  • Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice



There is compelling evidence that childhood conduct problems are a strong predictor of subsequent involvement in antisocial behavior. This article explores recent findings, issues, and controversies regarding the role of parenting in the development of youth and adolescent behavior problems. It focuses on two issues, which are, the dimensions of parenting that foster antisocial behavior and the mechanisms whereby these practices produce this effect. It begins by examining the extent to which studies support the contentions of popular theories regarding the parental behaviors that lead to delinquency and the mediating psychological changes in the child that account for this effect. Following this, it links family structure and delinquency to consider the impact of family structure on child and adolescent delinquency. Finally, it examines behavioral genetics research and provides a brief review of behavioral and molecular genetics studies relating to the issue of parenting and delinquency.

Keywords: antisocial behavior; family structure; adolescent delinquency; parenting; behavioral genetics

Article.  13050 words. 

Subjects: Criminology and Criminal Justice ; Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice

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