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Title: Do Parents' Attitudes Toward Risk Influence Juvenile Violence?
Resulting in 1 citation.
1. Pennington, Alexandra D.
Do Parents' Attitudes Toward Risk Influence Juvenile Violence?
M.P.P. Thesis, Georgetown University, April 2010
Cohort(s): Children of the NLSY79, NLSY79
Publisher: Georgetown Public Policy Institute
Keyword(s): Attitudes; Child Self-Administered Supplement (CSAS); Children, Behavioral Development; Delinquency/Gang Activity; Depression (see also CESD); Gender Differences; Intergenerational Patterns/Transmission; Modeling, Fixed Effects; Parent-Child Interaction; Risk-Taking; Sociability/Socialization/Social Interaction; Substance Use

Permission to reprint the abstract has not been received from the publisher.

Given that there are several risk factors associated with violent behavior among youth, many of these factors can be linked back to their home life experiences, including: aggression, attitudes/beliefs, family factors (family management practices, family members’ crime history, family conflict, marital status, etc.), and even academic performance. As such, it would be helpful to understand which aspects of home life have more prominent correlations with violent behavior, starting with the parents, who are largely responsible for setting the stage for a child’s development. Children can often find reassurance in their activities simply by paying attention to what their parents do and say, but what is it about the messages their parents send that help children to decide which trajectory to take, particularly when at least one of those options involve violence? This question is examined using a set of family fixed effects regression models to analyze data on mothers and their children who participated in the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, 1979.

The results of this analysis show that there is a notable relationship between a mother’s risk-taking behavior, as expressed through drug use and unprotected sex, and her child’s external behavior, particularly as it is expressed through the child’s self-reported risk-taking attitude. This relationship is most evident when considering the mother’s marital status, employment, educational attainment, number of children, and the child’s age. After examining this relationship further by studying female and male children behaviors separately, it appears that there are important differences for male and female children in terms of the effect of mothers’ risk-taking activities on their external and internal behavior. For male children, the mother’s risk-taking activities had a negative impact on the change in their depression status and a positive impact on their participation in illicit activity, both results of which were marginally significant. For female children, there appears to be no reliable relationship between their internal or external behavior and the mother’s risk-taking behavior, which may be because female children are less likely to commit criminal acts (relative to males).

Bibliography Citation
Pennington, Alexandra D. Do Parents' Attitudes Toward Risk Influence Juvenile Violence? M.P.P. Thesis, Georgetown University, April 2010.