Thesis

Parental childrearing practices and recidivism: an extension of Gottfredson and Hirschi's general theory of crime

For decades researchers have emphasized the direct effects of various forms of social control on delinquent behavior. Gottfredson and Hirschi's, A General Theory of Crime, places the cause of delinquency squarely on insufficient childrearing practices of primary caretakers. Using data from official records as well as the self-reported behavior and family characteristics of adjudicated juvenile offenders, this project is a quasi-experimental design testing the extent to which Gottfredson and Hirschi's theoretical model may help to explain recidivism among juvenile offenders. This study is not designed to test the general theory, per se. Rather, it explores whether the theory can help make sense of ways in which the dynamics of parent-child relations are related to juvenile recidivism. Overall, the findings are mixed.

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