The Influence of Parents of Children's Delinquency: An Examination of Neutralization Theory

Richard A. Dodder, Oklahoma State University

The innfluence of parents on the juvenile delinquency of their children was examined through Neutralization theory. University students and their parents completed questionnaires concerning the extent to which they endorsed moral absolute, situational ethic, and neutralization norms concerning 13 illegal behaviors (N=431) parent/child pairs). Results indicated little agreement between parent and child on normative endorsement. Among those with agreement, however, accepting neutralizations related to reporting more delinquency. As parents tended to make exceptions to moral absolutes, their youngsters also tended to make exceptions, although not usually the same exceptions, to justify the delinqueent acts they reported committing.

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Updated 05/20/2006