Question
Asked 27th Jan, 2014

Is there any relationship between family functions and juvenile delinquents?

I want to find evidence of the relationship.

Most recent answer

29th Dec, 2014
Alexandra Castle Ph.D.
Bellingrath Family Law
I apologize for being a picky researcher but I was taught to be very specific and define your constructs.  So family cohesiveness is operationalized as what, what is family flexibility? and how are you wanting to look at family communication?  Do you mean negative communication as operationalized as yelling, name calling, criticism.  Obviously positive communication would be more or less the opposite, such as possitive language, frequent interaction of a positive nature, communication of positive emotional states etc.  What I would highly recommend is that you take a look at the Research of Gerald Patterson I believe at Oregon University.  He has made an entire career researching effects of what is termed "coercive family functioning" on children's behavior and the results are really robust and commence at infancy.  It is a reflection of parental practices resulting in some negative behaviors which are then responsible for negative attributions of school teachers, counselors and even students, leading to even more negative behavior.  This is an entire system of the effects of functioning and shows how the family system influences individual behavior from infancy into adulthood.  I think you would find it very enlightening and would also lead you into other researchers in this vein.

All Answers (5)

30th Jan, 2014
George Seber
University of Auckland
Adopted children can be at an increased risk, though it depends on the age of adoption. I am a counsellor with two adopted children. The topic is discussed in my book "Counseling Issues". For further info about my book see my my blogs at http://authorgeorgeseber.wordpress.com/
7th Oct, 2014
Alexandra Castle Ph.D.
Bellingrath Family Law
Can you clarify for me what you mean by "family functions".  When I was doing my doctorate, my faculty advisor Dr. Robert Cairns specialized in delinquency, development of gangs, development of aggression etc all varied with a wide variety of family, poverty (the biggest influence on almost anything), etc.  Family structure and practices was extraordinarily important in both a contributory as well as insulation against development of antisocial behaviors.  One interesting observation I made was the prevalence of what I call the "rose colored glasses" phenomenon.  We all see the world and ourselves a bit higher than the mean.  Even in high poverty areas, families still did not see their plight accurately.  This phenomenon seems to factor into things like school drop out.  The kids who you would anticipate from their academic and family issues and experiences are not necessarily the ones who drop out..  So you still have very poor African American males with responsibility for multiple children born when both parents were very young teens, few social skills and even fewer academic successes still having beliefs that are extremely optimistic.  When asked what they want to do after school, a typical inner city kid in an Urban culture in the US, will still say that he wants to go to college and be a fireman or a police officer etc.  This, while having flunked two or more grades.  Things don't get bad for lots of these kids until that optimistic view of possibilities is shattered.  Then they drop out, get into gangs etc.   Studying these kids is a very complicated task and if you really want to get a grasp on it not only do you have to look at loads of variables simultaneously but over a period of time.  
Family factors usually include parenting practices (coercive vs authoritative parenting), SES, parental involvement in school activities (not necessarily true in non US countries), religion as it affects belief and behaviors etc etc.  So I guess what I am trying to say is that there are thousands of researchers out there specializing in family factors and development of anti social behaviors so you have to be very very specific about what you are trying to study and how.  Are you looking at ethnographic kinds of studies based on external observations or are you looking at the high correlation of specific family factors and how they relate to the development of behaviors in adolescents.  When is the sweet spot for these influences to occur across time?  When do we need to intervene and how?  Is what you are doing descriptive or prescriptive?  I would love more information of what you are trying to do and what your methodology would be.
1 Recommendation
4th Nov, 2014
Donna Demond
Regis University
When looking for research as it correlates..it is important to include socio economic backgrounds, and nuclear families-- opposed to single parent households. You will find a plethora of valid insight into antisocial behaviors that are centered around urban, single parent homes, as well as the correlates of them with gang members, as well  as  juvenile activity in general.
Thank You
Donna
25th Dec, 2014
Taquddin abdul mukti
Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris (UPSI)
what i meant with family functioning is family cohesiveness, family felxibility, family communication.
29th Dec, 2014
Alexandra Castle Ph.D.
Bellingrath Family Law
I apologize for being a picky researcher but I was taught to be very specific and define your constructs.  So family cohesiveness is operationalized as what, what is family flexibility? and how are you wanting to look at family communication?  Do you mean negative communication as operationalized as yelling, name calling, criticism.  Obviously positive communication would be more or less the opposite, such as possitive language, frequent interaction of a positive nature, communication of positive emotional states etc.  What I would highly recommend is that you take a look at the Research of Gerald Patterson I believe at Oregon University.  He has made an entire career researching effects of what is termed "coercive family functioning" on children's behavior and the results are really robust and commence at infancy.  It is a reflection of parental practices resulting in some negative behaviors which are then responsible for negative attributions of school teachers, counselors and even students, leading to even more negative behavior.  This is an entire system of the effects of functioning and shows how the family system influences individual behavior from infancy into adulthood.  I think you would find it very enlightening and would also lead you into other researchers in this vein.

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