Family Violence and Traditional Explanations of Delinquency: Examining Their Competing Effects on Behaviors of Filipino Adolescents

Sheila Royo Maxwell, Michigan State University

Family violence research generally supports the negative effects of such violence on children's behaviors. However, few studies have juxtaposed this explanation with other traditional explanations of delinquency such as peer influences, moral/legal beliefs, or other deviant activities by family members. Moreover, except for a few studies, data sources used in making assertions about the effects of family violence on children have relied on clinical samples, raising questions on the validity of results. This paper uses a longitudinal sample of Filipino adolescents who were not sampled using some family violence criteria. The paper examines the competing effects of family violence explanations of delinquent behaviors with those of peer influences, legal beliefs, and other deviant activities by family members. Results are expected to shed light on the salience of family violence as an explanation of delinquency when other relevant factors are controlled, and extends the relevance of the family violence theses beyond the Western samples typically used in these studies.

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Updated 05/20/2006