The Link Between Parental Attachment, Monitoring, Delinquent Peers and Delinquent Behavior: A Causal Examination

Dusten Hollist, Washington State University

The link between parental factors, delinquent peers and delinquent behavior is a well-discussed topic within modern criminology. This work builds upon the 1993 article "Parents, Peers, and Delinquency" by Mark Warr. The purpose of the paper is to further investigate the findings reported by Warr and supplement them with an examination of the conditioning effects of parental monitoring. In additional, this paper will go one step further into the causal process regarding attachment to parents and monitoring to provide a causal explanation of their effects on delinquent peers and delinquent behavior. Using cross-sectional data from a near complete census of 8th, 10th, and 12th grade students in Montana public schools during the 1997-1998 academic year, structural equation modeling is used to evaluate the accuracy of competing approaches in order to further investigate the causal relationship among these factors. Empirical support for the model is presented, and implications for the findings are discussed.

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Updated 05/20/2006