This brief review of research indicates that a popular opinion about family impact is wrong: parental absence is not importantly related to juvenile delinquency. Family interactions have greater influence on delinquency. Children reared by competent, affectionate parents who avoid using physical forms of punishment are unlikely to commit serious crimes either as juveniles or as adults. On the other hand, children reared by parents who neglect or reject them are likely to be greatly influenced by their community environments, which may offer opportunities and encouragement for criminal behavior.
See also: CHILD ABUSE: PHYSICAL ABUSE AND NEGLECT; CHILDHOOD, STAGES OF: ADOLESCENCE; CHILDREN OF ALCOHOLICS; CONDUCT DISORDERS; CONFLICT: FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS; DISCIPLINE; DIVORCE: EFFECTS ON CHILDREN; GANGS; INTERPARENTAL CONFLICT— EFFECTS ON CHILDREN; NEIGHBORHOOD; OPPOSITIONALITY; POVERTY; RUNAWAY YOUTHS; SELF-ESTEEM; SINGLE-PARENT FAMILIES; SPANKING; SUBSTANCE ABUSE; TEMPERAMENT
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