عوامل پیش بینی کننده بزهکاری اواخر نوجوانان: نقش حفاظتی فعالیت های بعد از مدرسه در خانواده های کم درآمد
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|38589||2011||9 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||8216 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Children and Youth Services Review, Volume 33, Issue 7, July 2011, Pages 1309–1317
Abstract Research suggests an important link between maternal welfare and employment, lack of after-school care, and a child's propensity to engage in increased levels of delinquency. Indeed, with welfare reform, many disadvantaged families, typically single-mother households, face increased pressures to move off of welfare and into employment or risk losing their benefits, which decreases the mother's ability to provide adequate after-school care and supervision. Using longitudinal data from Welfare, Children, and Families: A Three-City Study, this study assessed how changes in maternal welfare and employment status, as well as participation in after-school activities influence rates of adolescents' delinquency 4 years later. Results show that early and increased participation in after-school activities served as a protective factor against late adolescent delinquency during a mother's transition off of welfare. Youth who increased their after-school activity participation from early to late adolescence had lower rates of delinquency at wave 3. Policy implications are discussed.
Introduction During adolescence, youth and their families experience a confluence of transitions that may increase threats to the well-being of the adolescent (Compas and Reeslund, 2010, Gennetian et al., 2002 and Morris and Michalopoulos, 2003). For low-income youth specifically, the biological, cognitive and social transitions of adolescence may coincide with maternal transitions in welfare, employment or education status (Morris, Duncan, & Clark-Kauffman, 2004). Together, these transitions may act as risk factors for negative outcomes (Compas & Reeslund, 2010) such as delinquency. Indeed, research has found that adolescents who experienced economic hardship are at-risk for social and emotional problems with the amount of poverty-related stress directly and positively related to internalizing and externalizing behaviors (Gutman et al., 2005 and Wadsworth and Berger, 2006). Moreover, exposure to persistent stressors, such as living in poverty, can lead to an acceleration of delinquency and that for low-income youth, delinquency may be a way to cope with stressful events (D'Imperio et al., 2000, Hoffmann and Cerbone, 1999 and Larson, 2006). As such, it is important for research to not only understand the various risks for the development of delinquency in low-income adolescents, but also the potential protective factors and processes of resilience. Using a risk and resiliency framework, this study specifically examines if and how maternal welfare and employment transitions are risk factors to adolescent delinquency, and how after-school involvement can act as a protective factor. Involvement in after-school activities is an important factor to consider as adolescents in low-income, urban settings are more likely to engage in self-care, which may not necessarily be developmentally conducive (Lopoo, 2007). Self-care is defined as the lack of supervision during the after-school hours and may be compounded with a lack of access to structured youth programs (Coley et al., 2004, Perkins et al., 2007, Posner and Vandell, 1994 and Vandell et al., 2005). Extant research has found that adolescents who are involved in after-school activities and similarly structured youth programs, show several positive outcomes such as increased academic performance and self-esteem (Anderson et al., 2007, Eccles et al., 2003, Holland and Andre, 1987, Pettit et al., 1999, Pierce and Shields, 1998 and Posner and Vandell, 1994) and, of particular interest in this study, decreased delinquent behaviors (Barber et al., 2001 and Pancer et al., 2007). Therefore, the non-school hours have the potential to promote positive peer group interactions, socialization and the development of several competencies (Barber et al., 2001, Coley et al., 2004, Dworkin et al., 2003, Fredricks et al., 2002, Holland and Andre, 1987, Larson et al., 1997 and Raymore et al., 2001). And these opportunities may bear particular significance for low-income urban youth given their limited access to such activities (Coley et al., 2004 and Morris and Michalopoulos, 2003). Indeed, research has suggested an important link between maternal employment, lack of after-school care, and an adolescent's propensity to engage in increased levels of delinquency (Anderson et al., 2007 and Coley et al., 2004). With welfare reform, many disadvantaged families, typically single-mother households, face increased pressures to move off of welfare and into employment or risk losing their benefits. This transition presents an added stressor to both the mother and the child, with reports that an increase in maternal employment amplifies rates of delinquent behavior in adolescents, particularly when time in organized or structured activities decreases or is absent (Gennetian et al., 2002, Huston, 2002, Lopoo, 2007, Morris and Michalopoulos, 2003 and Sampson and Laub, 1994). Thus, the aim of this study was to use longitudinal panel data to assess how changes in maternal welfare and employment status as well as changes in participation in after-school activities influence rates of adolescent delinquency 4 years later. 1.1. Theoretical framework The biological, cognitive, and social transitions that low-income adolescents and their families face and the stressors of living in poverty increase threats to the adolescent's and the family's well-being. As such, it is imperative for research to clarify the risk factors, protective factors, and the processes of resilience for this particular population. To that end, a risk and resiliency perspective and positive youth development framework were employed to examine the processes associated with late adolescent delinquency in a sample of low-income, urban, minority youth (Compas and Reeslund, 2010, Rutter, 1987 and Small and Luster, 1994). First, in this study, the main risk factors to late adolescent delinquency were defined as the transitions in mother's welfare and employment status. Results from research investigating the effects of welfare reform on adolescent outcomes have found that while the transition to work can increase maternal and family processes and resources (Chase-Lansdale et al., 2003 and Conger et al., 1994), being on welfare (Lohman, Pittman, Coley, & Chase-Lansdale, 2004), transitioning onto welfare (Coley et al., 2007) and maternal employment have been found to increase adolescent delinquent behaviors (Gennetian et al., 2002, Huston, 2002, Kalil and Dunifon, 2007, Montemayer and Clayton, 1983 and Morris and Michalopoulos, 2003). The reason being that disruptions in the mother's welfare or employment status may increase parental stress, poor parenting practices, and decrease parental monitoring (Chase-Lansdale et al., 2003), which have been shown to contribute to negative adolescent outcomes (Appleyard et al., 2005, Clark-Kauffman et al., 2003 and Conger et al., 1994). However, there is also a body of literature that has found that maternal welfare transitions (Chase-Lansdale et al., 2003 and Kalil and Dunifon, 2007) or employment transitions (Coley et al., 2007) do not have significant effects on the adolescents' delinquent behaviors. Kalil and Dunifon (2007) also found that maternal employment was negatively related to the child's problem behaviors. Given these disparate findings in the previous literature, this study provides a continued examination of the effect of maternal welfare and employment transitions on adolescent delinquency. Additionally, the majority of these aforementioned studies failed to include adolescents' own behaviors in determining the relationship between maternal welfare and employment and adolescent outcomes. Indeed, the discussion in most of the studies investigating the influence of maternal welfare and employment on adolescent outcomes is limited to program or household level factors such as: the mother's use of and participation in public assistance programs over time (e.g. Chase-Lansdale et al., 2003 and Morris et al., 2004); the mother's human capital, which includes her level of education and physical and mental health (e.g. Coley et al., 2007, Kalil and Dunifon, 2007 and Lohman et al., 2004); and the economic, built, and social family environment (e.g. Kalil and Dunifon, 2007, Morris and Michalopoulos, 2003 and Morris et al., 2004). Not much attention is given to qualities of the adolescent outside of basic demographics. Adolescent characteristics must be considered given that during adolescence, youth begin to spend more time away from home and individuate away from the family. Furthermore, a main principle of positive youth development is that adolescents can be resources to their contexts and to their own well-being. As such, in this study, the adolescents' own behaviors, specifically their involvement in after-school activities over time, were identified as protective factors against adolescent delinquency in the context of the maternal risk factors. Indeed, extant research on positive youth development has found that early and longitudinal participation in structured activities, such as after-school clubs or community places, benefits adolescents by acting as an independent context for healthy exploration and interactions (Catalano et al., 2004 and Eccles et al., 2003). The timing of involvement is a particularly important consideration. In their comprehensive review of the influence of extracurricular activities on adolescent development, Feldman and Matjasko (2005) noted that the literature consistently showed that early participation during adolescence was a predictor for continued participation and successful transitions into adulthood. This suggests that getting youth involved as early as possible would reap the most benefits. Furthermore, after-school activities that are more structured give youth an opportunity to spend time in supervised settings, enrichment lessons, and with adults who can act as positive role models or mentors (Posner & Vandell, 1994). For low-income adolescents especially, these positive interactions can help fill voids at home due to a mother's employment (Clark-Kauffman et al., 2003, Lopoo, 2007 and Morris and Michalopoulos, 2003) and decreased parental supervision (Gennetian et al., 2002, Huston, 2002 and Sampson and Laub, 1994). In addition to identifying the risk and protective factors, an important component of the risk and resiliency perspective is the resiliency process, whereby individuals display positive adaptation despite exposure to risks (Compas & Reeslund, 2010). Moreover, examining the resiliency process requires identifying and testing the interplay between risk and protective factors via mediation or moderation (Compas & Reeslund, 2010). In this study, we specifically examine the extent to which changes in adolescents' involvement in after-school activities over time moderate the influence of maternal welfare and employment transitions on late adolescent delinquency 4 years later. In this way, involvement in after-school activities is a characteristic of the adolescent that is hypothesized to be associated with positive outcomes (i.e. lowered delinquency) in the face of risk (i.e. maternal welfare and employment transitions). Maternal distress is also included as a risk factor because the welfare research identifies it as a potential confounder in the transition experience (Coley et al., 2007). In other words, the research suggests that it is unclear if it is the transition itself or characteristics of the mothers who transition that influence adolescent outcomes (Coley et al., 2007, Kalil and Dunifon, 2007 and Montemayer and Clayton, 1983). Thus in this study, mother's distress is defined by the mother's general health, mental health, and substance use and will be included as demographic covariates to control for possible selection factors that influence maternal welfare and employment experiences and adolescent outcomes. 1.2. Research questions Guided by the risk and resiliency and positive youth development frameworks, the aim of this study was to assess how transitions in maternal welfare and employment status as well as changes in adolescents' involvement in after-school activities influence rates of adolescent delinquency 4 years later. Two key research questions were posed: (1) Are maternal welfare and employment transitions associated with late adolescents' delinquency? And (2) Do changes in adolescents' after-school experiences moderate the relationship between maternal welfare and employment transitions and adolescent delinquency?
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Results This study focused on maternal welfare and employment transitions and how together with changes in adolescents' after-school activity involvement increase or decrease the likelihood that a late adolescent will become involved in delinquent behaviors for a sample of predominantly minority, low-income youth in Boston, Chicago, and San Antonio. First, a description of the sample is provided. Next, results from multivariate analyses to examine the two research questions are discussed. Unweighted analyses were run and conducted in Stata/SE 10.0. 3.1. Descriptive overview Descriptive statistics of the adolescents and their mothers are provided in Table 1; a discussion of the main variables of interest in this study, mainly maternal welfare and employment transitions, changes in adolescent after-school involvement, and adolescents' delinquency 4 years later follows. As shown in Table 1, almost half of the mothers transitioned off of welfare from wave 1 to wave 2 (47%), and more than half were stably not employed (56%). With regards to the adolescent characteristics, on average most adolescents decreased their involvement in after-school activities between waves 1 and 2, and between waves 2 and 3. On average, late adolescents' had low levels of delinquency (M = − 0.11 SD = 0.43), with males reporting significantly greater delinquent behaviors than females (t (765) = − 4.60, p < .001). One-way analysis of variance (not shown) showed no significant differences in late adolescents' delinquency by race. 3.2. Multivariate analysis To assess the two research questions on the relationship between mother's welfare and employment transitions, changes in adolescents' after-school activity involvement, and late adolescents' delinquent behaviors, a series of Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) regressions was employed (Chase-Lansdale et al., 2003 and Coley et al., 2007). To address research question 1, maternal welfare and employment patterns were stepped into the models (Table 2, model 1). Next, the adolescent and maternal demographic characteristics were stepped into the model (Table 2, model 2), followed by changes in after-school activity involvement (Table 2, model 3). Changes in after-school activity involvement from wave 1 to wave 2 and wave 2 and wave 3 (Δ1 = wave 2–wave 1 and Δ2 = wave 3–wave 2) were included in the models to test for distal and proximal influences of activity involvement on late adolescents' delinquency. The adolescents' initial level of after-school activity involvement was included in the model to reduce endogeneity bias (Finkel, 1995). For research question 2, following procedures outlined by Aiken and West (1991), all linear variables were first centered prior to adding them into the regression model. Interaction terms were also created between the maternal welfare and employment variables and the changes in after-school activity involvement. Finally, these interaction terms were stepped into the model (Table 2, model 4) to test if changes in after-school activity involvement moderated the relationship between mother's welfare and employment transitions and adolescents' subsequent delinquency behaviors. Table 2. Lagged-OLS regression results of maternal welfare and employment transitions and adolescent activity involvement predicting late adolescents' delinquent behaviors. Model 1 Β (SE) Model 2 B (SE) Model 3 Β (SE) Model 4 Β (SE) Adolescent demographics, W1 Adolescent age, W1 0.05 (0.01) 0.01 (0.01) 0.02 (0.01) Male adolescentA 0.17⁎⁎⁎ (0.03) 0.18⁎⁎⁎ (0.03) 0.18⁎⁎⁎ (0.03) Adolescent raceA Black 0.00 (0.03) 0.00 (0.03) −0.01 (0.04) White and other 0.06 (0.08) 0.05 (0.06) 0.05 (0.06) Maternal characteristics, W1 High school degree or above −0.01 (0.03) −0.01 (0.03) −0.01 (0.03) Relationship statusA Married 0.01 (0.04) −0.01 (0.03) 0.02 (0.04) Cohabitating −0.04 (0.08) −0.04 (0.04) −0.05 (0.08) Separated −0.01 (0.05) −0.01 (0.05) −0.01 (0.05) Psychological distress 0.08 (0.00) 0.08⁎ (0.00) 0.08 (0.00) General health −0.01 (0.01) −0.01 (0.01) −0.00 (0.01) Substance use 0.07 (0.04) 0.06 (0.04) 0.07 (0.05) Family income-to-needs ratio −0.02 (0.03) −0.02 (0.03) −0.03 (0.03) Maternal transition variables Welfare statusA Moved onto welfare 0.05 (0.14) 0.05 (0.14) 0.05 (0.13) 0.03 (0.14) Moved off welfare −0.01 (0.04) −0.02 (0.04) −0.03 (0.04) −0.05 (0.06) Cycled on and off 0.01 (0.06) 0.03 (0.06) 0.03 (0.05) 0.02 (0.06) Stably off welfare −0.02 (0.05) −0.03 (0.05) −0.03 (0.05) −0.05 (0.05) Employment statusA Moved out of employment 0.04 (0.06) 0.05 (0.06) 0.05 (0.06) −0.01 (0.05) Moved into employment −0.01 (0.05) −0.01 (0.05) −0.01 (0.05) 0.06 (0.06) Stably employed 0.02 (0.04) 0.01 (0.04) 0.04 (0.04) 0.05 (0.04) Adolescent after-school activities Activity involvement, W1 −0.05 (0.02) −0.03 (0.02) Change in activity involvement, W1 to W2 −0.11 (0.02) −0.24⁎ (0.03) Change in activity involvement, W2 to W3 −0.12⁎ (0.02) −0.12 (0.03) Interactions Changes in activity involvement W1 to W2 Moved onto welfare 0.09 (0.11) Moved off welfare 0.16⁎ (0.03) Cycled on and off 0.02 (0.05) Stably off welfare 0.07 (0.04) Moved out of employment −0.04 (0.03) Moved into employment 0.03 (0.04) Stably employed −0.04 (0.03) Changes in activity involvement W2 to W3 Moved onto welfare −0.03 (0.15) Moved off welfare 0.04 (0.03) Cycled on and off −0.01 (0.04) Stably off welfare −0.01 (0.04) Moved out of employment 0.04 (0.05) Moved into employment 0.02 (0.04) Stably employed −0.05 (0.03) F, prob > F 0.58 2.20⁎⁎ 2.21⁎⁎ 1.81⁎⁎ R2 0.01 0.03 0.06 0.08 A Female adolescents, Hispanic adolescents, and mothers who are single, stably on welfare, and stably not employed are the omitted groups. ⁎ p < 0.05. ⁎⁎ p < 0.01. ⁎⁎⁎ p < 0.001. Table options 3.2.1. Research Question 1 Results for Research Question 1 are displayed in Table 2, model 1. Regarding the central welfare and employment transition variables, no significant main effects were found between mother's welfare and employment experiences and late adolescent delinquency. Post-Hoc Wald tests (not shown), also found no significant differences among the remaining maternal welfare and employment transition groups (e.g., stably on welfare versus moved onto welfare, stably on welfare versus stably off welfare, stably not employed versus moved out of employment). Nevertheless, adolescents' change in after-school activity involvement between waves 2 and 3 was found to have a negative and significant main effect on delinquency, whereby a one standard deviation change in activity involvement predicted a 0.12 standard deviation decrease in late adolescents' delinquency 4 years later while controlling for the mother's welfare and employment transitions and adolescent and maternal characteristics (Table 2, model 3). An earlier change in activity involvement between waves 1 and 2 was not found to have a significant main effect on late adolescents' delinquency. Additionally, being a male adolescent, and living with a mother with high psychological distress were linked to greater levels of delinquency 4 years later. 3.2.2. Research Question 2 Upon stepping the interaction terms into the model (Table 2, model 4), results showed a significant interaction between mother's transitions off welfare and adolescents' change in activity involvement between waves 1 and 2. Specifically, higher levels of delinquency in late adolescence were associated with a change in adolescents' after-school activity involvement between waves 1 and 2 and mother's transitioning off of welfare within that same 16 month period. To extrapolate the significant interactions, late adolescents' delinquency was plotted for adolescents whose mothers (a) moved off of welfare and (b) were stably on welfare (the referent group) with the change in adolescent after-school activity involvement in waves 1 and 2. The values of all other variables were assessed at their sample means. Fig. 1 illustrates the relationship between maternal welfare transitions and adolescents' activity involvement. Interaction between maternal welfare transitions and change in adolescent ... Fig. 1. Interaction between maternal welfare transitions and change in adolescent after-school activity involvement on late adolescents' delinquent behavior. Figure options As shown in Fig. 1, the coefficient for delinquent behaviors in wave 3 for adolescents whose mothers moved off welfare slightly decreased as the level of adolescents' after-school activity involvement increased from wave 1 to wave 2. However, for those adolescents whose mothers were stably on welfare, the coefficient for delinquent behaviors had a steeper decrease as their involvement in after-school activities increased from wave 1 to wave 2. The negative slope of the stable welfare group illustrates the link between the change in adolescent after-school involvement and relative declines in late adolescent delinquency. The combination of decreased after-school activity involvement and stable welfare receipt led to the highest reports of late adolescent delinquent behavior.