|Despite the copious amount of literature that has been published regarding the influence of family structure on delinquent behavior a clear understanding of this phenomenon is yet to emerge, The majority of previous studies have only investigated if broken homes are related to misbehavior; however, they have failed to establish why this relationship exists. Some authors that have addressed this issue have attempted to use social control theory to explain their findings. However, their conclusions are frequently contradictory. The purpose of this study was to determine if the parental attachment component of social control theory could explain why family structure was related to delinquency. Multivariate logistic regression was used in the investigation. A representative sample of school children from the province of Ontario was analyzed (n=1,891). The findings suggest that family structure is a significant predictor of most self-reported delinquent behaviors both at the zero order level and when age, sex and SES are controlled. However, when parental attachment is entered into the regression equation the significant correlations between family structure and delinquency tend to disappear. This suggests that the parental attachment coponent of social control theory can provide a plausible explanation for why broken homes are linked to delinquency. Keywords: family structure, broken homes, delinquency, social control theory, parental attachment.
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