Family Relationships and Delinquent Behavior

Family Relationships and Delinquent Behavior

Family Relationships and Delinquent Behavior

Family Relationships and Delinquent Behavior

Excerpt

The problem of definition and measurement has long been a difficult one in delinquency research. Most investigators, after expressing more or fewer misgivings, have elected to consider official records, or even more frequently, institutionalization as the criterion. A reformatory or training school population is usually accepted as a delinquent group and a non-institutionalized group is taken as a control group. We have elected to depart from this procedure and to attempt to study delinquent behavior in the general population.

In accepting institutionalization as the criterion, previous investigators have most often expressed misgivings concerning the known biases present in the institutionalized population. Repeated studies have shown that lower socio-economic individuals are more likely to be arrested, convicted, and institutionalized for a given offense than are individuals in middle and high socio-economic strata. As a result there is little if any doubt that institutional populations are biased with disproportionate numbers of individuals from the lowest socio-economic . . .

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