جنسیت والدین، خانواده های تک والد و بزهکاری: بررسی تاثیر تعدیل قومیت / نژاد
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|38559||2006||22 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||9582 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Social Science Research, Volume 35, Issue 3, September 2006, Pages 727–748
Abstract Despite the great interest in the relationship between family structure and delinquent behavior generally, very little research has explored variation within the family form of single parenting and its implications. The present study examines whether parental gender is associated with delinquent behavior and marijuana, alcohol, and other illicit drug use, and whether the magnitude of an association between parental gender and delinquency is moderated by race/ethnicity. The analyses can be interpreted as supporting either the structural or maternal hypotheses, with parental gender (namely living with a father) being found to increase the risk of alcohol use generally, while females living with their fathers are at an increased risk of being involved in delinquent behavior. The only evidence of race/ethnicity conditioning the relationship between parental gender and deviant behavior was for marijuana use—living with one’s father increases the risk of Hispanic/Latino adolescents engaging in marijuana use. While these finding provide further evidence that children living with single fathers may be at an increased risk of being involved in delinquent behavior (under certain conditions), additional research is needed to further evaluate the conditional nature of the single-father–delinquency association.
. Introduction The role of family structure in explaining delinquency has been a central topic of criminology for the past half century. The question of whether children who are raised in non-traditional families, including single-parent families, are at an increased risk of delinquency and drug use has been the focus of several studies (Dornbusch et al., 1985, Flewelling and Bauman, 1990, Hoffman and Johnson, 1998, Hoffman, 2002, Matsueda and Heimer, 1987, McCord, 1991, Rankin and Kern, 1994, Steinberg, 1987 and Warr, 1993). One major reason for the proliferation of studies examining the association between non-traditional families and delinquency is the exponential growth of single-parent and other non-traditional families in recent decades in the United States (Bianchi, 1995 and Dornbusch et al., 1985). According to Teachman (2000), the percentage of children living with two parents fell dramatically across all racial groups over the past few decades (1970–1994), with the percent of White children living with two parents falling from 90 to less than 80%, the percent of black children living with two parents falling from 60 to approximately 33%, and the percent of Hispanic children living with two parents falling from 80 to 65%. Most of these studies have uncovered similar results—being raised in a single-parent family is a risk factor for delinquency, particularly if the family is impoverished. While the arguments vary for why living in a single-parent family increases the risk for delinquency, the most popular explanation centers on a resource deprivation argument—that a single parent has fewer resources (including economic resources, time, and energy) at her/his disposal than two parents, with the assumption that fewer resources leads to diminished social control and socialization (Amato and Keith, 1991, Cohen and Felson, 1979, Hirschi, 1969, Lareau, 1989, McLanahan and Booth, 1989, McNulty and Bellair, 2003, Meyer and Garasky, 1993, Rankin and Wells, 1994 and Roscigno, 1998). Furthermore, research suggests that among single-parent households, female-headed households suffer greater economic disadvantage than male-headed households (Amato, 2000 and McLanahan and Sandefur, 1994) and more inconsistent levels of monitoring and discipline (McLanahan and Booth, 1989 and McLanahan and Sandefur, 1994). This evidence suggests that single father households may be more effective at controlling child delinquency than female-headed households. However, there exists an evidence that counterbalances the aforementioned differences that advantage single father households. For instance, Ambert (1984) found that single fathers communicate less with their children than single mothers, while other evidence suggests that women are more successful at cultivating affective bonds with their children and grooming interpersonal skills than men (Chodorow, 1978 and Hochchild, 1989). Further research suggests that the benefits of living with fathers (economic and discipline practices) are offset by the relative lack of interpersonal resources among fathers, resulting in roughly the same outcomes for children who live with fathers or mothers (Downey, 1994). Hence, it is not clear from prior research whether living with a single father should be expected to increase, decrease, or produce approximately the same risk of delinquency among children as living with a single mother. There are, however, at least a couple of compelling reasons to continue to explore the relationship between parental gender and delinquency among single-parent families. First, the mere fact that single father families are the fastest growing family form warrants another look (Garasky and Meyer, 1996). While much scholarship has been devoted to documenting and theorizing the nature and consequences of single-female parenting for adolescents, very little attention has been devoted to the nature and consequences of single-male parenting or any possible differences in the two (Amato and Fowler, 2002 and Demuth and Brown, 2004). Second, while the aforementioned studies controlled for the direct effect of race/ethnicity when they examined the association between delinquency, family structure, and gender of the parent, none considered the possibility that race may condition the relationship between the sex of the parent and the likelihood that an adolescent is involved in juvenile crime. This is a potentially important omission because prior research suggests that the association between family structure generally (i.e., single versus two-parent families) and delinquency is conditioned by race ( Matsueda and Heimer, 1987). Furthermore, recent research suggests that not only do differences in parenting styles and behaviors exist across racial groups, but that these differences appear to reflect cultural patterns that have emerged across generations ( Bulcroft et al., 1996). While the evidence is far from equivocal, this research does imply that race can moderate the relationship between single parenting and delinquency. Yet the question of whether race moderates the relationship between the parental gender in single-parent families and delinquency has not been examined. The present research extends previous work testing the relationship between family structure and delinquency by considering whether race/ethnicity moderates the relationship between the sex of the parent and delinquency involvement among single-parent families. Using data from a southern state, the present analysis considers how individual, family, and residential factors are associated with various delinquency outcomes with a particular focus on the interactions of race and gender.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
. Conclusion Despite the recognized importance of parents in explaining adolescent involvement in delinquent behavior, relatively little research has explored racial differences in parenting and their consequences generally (Bulcroft et al., 1996) and racial differences in parenting and their possible effects on the delinquency of their children specifically. Furthermore, most of the research that has explored the family structure–delinquency connection has focused primarily on differences between traditional two-parent, blended parent, and single-parent families and their association with adolescent delinquency. Very little research has examined possible differences in parenting between single-mothers and single-fathers, both generally (Demo and Cox, 2000) and specifically for its relevance to understanding crime and delinquency. The present research was predicated on the notion that both race and parental gender may be important factors in understanding how single parenting may be associated with delinquent behavior. There are three central findings of the present study: (a) parental gender is associated with alcohol use; (b) parental gender is associated with marijuana use for Latino/Hispanics (but not for other racial groups); and (c) parental gender predicts delinquent behavior among females (but not males). For each of these findings, residing with one’s father (versus mother) is associated with an increased risk of involvement in deviant behavior, controlling for other salient factors. Hence, these results are consistent with other recent research that has found that living with a single father increases the risk of delinquent and substance use behavior among adolescents (Demuth and Brown, 2004, Hoffman and Johnson, 1998 and Hoffman, 2002). However, the results are far from unequivocal and consistent across these categories of deviant behavior: parental gender only matters for females in predicting delinquent behavior; parental gender only matters for Latinos when predicting marijuana use; and parental gender does not matter when predicting other illicit drug use. It is only when alcohol use is the dependent variable that parental gender is a significant predictor across both racial and gender categories. Because of the inconsistent nature of these findings, the results can be interpreted as providing qualified support to either the structuralist hypothesis or the maternal hypothesis. While one cannot adjudicate between these two findings on the basis of the present study, it may be more prudent to emphasize what these findings fail to support: there is no support for the paternal hypothesis and little support for the same sex hypothesis. The notion that wayward sons may be advantaged by living with their fathers (instead of their mothers) receives little support from these findings. Coupled with prior research, the cumulative evidence bears little support for either the parental or same sex hypothesis. While this study provides support for either the maternal or structural hypotheses, there exists limited support for the notion that race/ethnicity moderates the relationship between parental gender and delinquent involvement. Significant differences were only found between the magnitude of the coefficient for Hispanic versus White and Black respondents in predicting marijuana use. The association between parental gender and delinquent involvement was significantly stronger for Hispanics than it was for the other two subgroups. Why might this be the case? Unfortunately, there is very little scholarship devoted to Hispanic fathers and their parenting generally (Powell, 1995), let alone the parenting of Hispanic single fathers. While speculative in nature, a few possible explanations can be proffered. First, there exists some evidence that Hispanic male parents monitor their children less and are more permissive than either Black or White male parents ( Hofferth, 2003). However, this research only examined parental behaviors among two-parent families, so there is no direct evidence that such differences are maintained when considering single fathering. Furthermore, it must be mentioned that others have strongly cautioned against the consideration of Hispanics as a homogeneous race/ethnic group ( Vega, 1990). Unfortunately the present study was unable to further disaggregate ethnicity beyond the generic category of Hispanic. A second possible explanation for this finding is that a critical explanatory variable has been omitted from the analyses. For instance, there may be differences in acculturation levels between children living with single fathers than with single mothers in Latino families that would account for the finding of a moderating effect. That is, second (and beyond) generation Latinos and Hispanics may be duly inculcated into the dominant non-Hispanic, White culture which is associated with increased risk of substance use (Vega et al., 1998), compared to first generation Hispanics and Latinos. And it is plausible that as Hispanics become more indoctrinated generally, that it is more likely to see the presence of single-father headed households (versus single-mother households). While speculative, such a pattern may render the moderating role of being Hispanic and the effect of parental gender to insignificance. Further research is necessary to examine what role acculturation, as well as other aspects of parenting plays in the parental gender-substance use association among Hispanics. Finally, the finding that parental gender matters in predicting Latino marijuana use may be unique to the sample utilized in this study. Florida has a relatively unique student population, especially with regards to the percentage of Latino and Hispanic students and with the specific ethnic composition of these students (e.g., a large number of Cuban-American students). Contextual factors such as the racial and ethnic composition of the school or community that these students are situated in may generate unique conditions that are important contributors to the finding that parental gender matters. Indeed, the differences in the findings between prior studies (e.g., Demuth and Brown, 2004 and Powell and Downey, 1997) may be attributable to the fact that prior studies have employed data from national probability samples, while this study depends upon data from a single and somewhat unique state. Thus, the present findings inform us about parental gender’s influence in Florida while other prior inquiries have greater generalizability. Nonetheless, the changing demographic characteristics of the United States, with Latino/Hispanics now comprising a larger segment of the population than Blacks, suggest that the population dynamics in Florida may provide a glimpse into the future of the nation. Clearly, more research is necessary to validate whether parental gender is associated with marijuana use among Latino/Hispanic youth and, if validated, to determine why parental gender matters. As is the case with any study, there are some obvious limitations that should be considered when evaluating the merits of these findings. One of the more obvious concerns is the use of self-reported, school administered survey data. Future research should consider an examination of the relationship between officially recorded delinquent acts (i.e., arrest records or official contacts with juvenile courts) as an alternative measure of delinquency. Further, the use of cross-sectional data prohibited an examination of whether single fathering preceded delinquent proclivities among adolescents or not raises significant concerns about whether or not parental gender plays a causal role or whether it is simply a marker for a tendency to shift problem children who reside with female parents to their male parents due to the problem behavior of the child. However, Powell and Downey (1997) failed to find evidence to support the notion that “single fathers are more likely to take custody of boys with behavioral or discipline problems (p. 533).” Nonetheless, the possibility that custody decisions are associated with prior behavioral problems among the respondents cannot be ruled out in the present study. Additionally, there were no measures of the amount of time the respondent has lived in a single-parent family and no controls for non-custodial parent involvement in the adolescent’s life. This latter omission may be particularly important, given recent research suggesting such involvement is an important determinant of a White child’s involvement in delinquency and substance use ( Thomas et al., 1996). Finally, the lack of access to neighborhood level data is a potentially important omission. Measures of the level of poverty or income and indicators of the percentage of single-parent families at the neighborhood level would enrich the analysis. Future research should attempt to extend this inquiry to include such contextual data. Despite these limitations, there now is accumulating evidence that living with a single father (compared to a single mother) may be a risk factor for delinquent behavior. While more research is needed before confirming such a finding, the next step is to attempt to discover the differences in parenting styles or behavior between single mothers and fathers, and if identified, to determine how best to enable single fathers so that their children’s risk of delinquency and illicit substance use is reduced. With the continued growth of non-traditional family structures in the United States, it is imperative that criminologists continue to explore the varied aspects of family form and their connections to delinquency.