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Monday 26th of August 2019

Documentation Center

The differential influence of absent and harsh fathers on juvenile delinquency


Cortney Simmonsa, Laurence Steinbergb, Paul J. Frickd, Elizabeth Cauffman
Journal of Adolescence 62

Abstract

Researchers have identified father absence as a contributor to juvenile delinquency. Consequently, politicians and community leaders are making efforts to re-engage fathers. However, it is possible that the presence of fathers is not, in itself, a substantial protective factor and, in some cases, can even be more detrimental than father absence. Employing a diverse sample of male juvenile offenders in the U.S. (ages 13–17), the present study examined the differential effects of absent fathers and harsh fathers on delinquency. Results indicated that youth in the harsh-father group engaged in more offending behaviors and used more substances than youth in the absent-father group. This difference remained even after controlling for the mother-child relationship. Implications of these findings for future research and delinquency prevention programs are discussed.

Scope

International

Year Language

2018 English

Category Type

Publications Article

Keywords

Delinquency, Family, Risk factors, Sociology, Violence

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