ERIC Number: ED376388
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-May
Family Life, Delinquency, and Crime: A Policymaker's Guide. Research Summary.
Wright, Kevin N.; Wright, Karen E.
This monograph reviews research on the influence of family life on juvenile delinquency and adult crime. Families are strong socializing forces. Parents teach children to control their behavior and respect others' rights; however, parents can also teach aggressive, antisocial, and violent behavior. Research shows that children with parents who are negatively involved or uninvolved in their lives are at a greater risk of becoming delinquents. Marital discord, conflict, and child abuse correlate with delinquency. Single-parent families produce more delinquent children than two-parent families. Although most juvenile delinquents do not commit crimes as adults, the important association between family life and criminal activity continues for adults. Being married does not necessarily reduce the likelihood of adult criminal offense; however, some research shows that the ability to sustain a marriage predicts abstinence from crime, suggesting that the quality, not the existence, of a marriage may have an influence. Other studies indicate that maintaining family ties while incarcerated and establishing good family situations upon release were associated with positive reentry into the community, and a reduction in recidivism. Family therapy is a widely advocated treatment for offenders. Surprisingly, this type of therapy has received little empirical assessment. Contains over 200 references. (CC)
Descriptors: Adolescents, Adults, Children, Crime Prevention, Criminals, Delinquency, Delinquency Prevention, Family Influence, Family Role, Marriage, Recidivism
Juvenile Justice Clearinghouse, Box 6000, Rockville, MD 20850 (free).
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Guides - Non-Classroom
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquent Prevention (Dept. of Justice), Washington, DC.