A Comparative Study of Youth and Parent/Guardian Perceptions of Risk Factors that Lead to Adolescent Delinquency

Todd Spencer

Abstract


There has been a great deal of research looking at the risk factors that contribute to adolescent delinquency, but there has been insufficient research comparing the perceptions of both the youth and their parents of what risk factors led to criminal behavior. To test parent and delinquent agreeableness, 36 parent and youth pairs from Salt Lake Peer Court were given surveys looking at family relationship dynamics, aggressive and depressive emotions, the presence of drug use, the role and influence of peers, school participation, and academic achievement. The results conclude that adolescents and parents have a high level of agreeableness to what risk factors led to risk behaviors. There were many interesting and significant correlations found. There exists a positive correlation between parents knowing where their child was and listening to their child. In addition, a positive correlation was found between a parent knowing where their child was and having rules for their child. Another positive correlation was found between a parent having rules for their child and supporting their child’s interests. A positive correlation appears between a parent supporting their child’s interests and listening to their child. A final correlation was found between a parent that supports their child’s interests and a parent listening to their child. All of these correlations between the parent surveys appear logical. It seems likely that if a parent had rules for their child and listened to them, they were more likely to know where their child was and more likely to support their interests.

Keywords


Delinquency; Adolescent; Perception

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