How does the family structure relate to teen delinquency?

On Behalf of | Nov 14, 2022 | Blog, Juvenile Criminal Defense |

Juvenile delinquency has long been studied by sociologists in order to identify at-risk youth demographics. These studies typically aim to target these youth to help prevent juvenile crime and delinquency and help these youth live productive and happy lives. Louisiana is no stranger to teen delinquency with the second-highest rate in the nation of juvenile arrests.

Family structure and juvenile delinquency

Recently, a study of 14 and 15 year-olds looked at the relationship between delinquent and antisocial behavior and the family structures of the juveniles in question. This study delves more into the specifics of family structure rather than simply differentiating between single-parent and two-parent households.

Overall, the study found that teens who lived in single-parent households or had a parent and a step-parent in their households were at a higher risk of juvenile crime and delinquency.

How can parenting style help prevent juvenile crime?

The study also looked at households where there was a single parent who put in a large effort towards family cohesion and a proactive parenting style. These types of households had significantly lower rates of juvenile crime and alcohol consumption than single-parent households where the parent did not put in high levels of effort towards making a cohesive family unit.

In households where there is a step-parent and parent, the study found that co-parenting actively can raise juvenile crime and delinquency to lower levels of risk than even two-parent households when proactive parenting is employed.

In short, being as proactive as possible and being an engaged parent goes a long way in preventing teens’ antisocial behavior like vandalism, assault, and other serious juvenile offenses.


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