How far does the apple fall from the tree? Maternal delinquency and sex-specific patterns of offspring delinquent behavior

Eric J. Connolly, Joseph A. Schwartz, Dylan B. Jackson, Kevin M. Beaver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose Examine whether parental offending is directly associated with male and female offspring patterns of delinquent behavior during adolescence and indirectly associated with risk for criminal conviction in young adulthood. Methods Latent growth curve models and growth mixture models are estimated using intergenerational data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth to examine the effects of maternal offending on rates of growth and distinct trajectories of delinquent behavior in male and female children. Results The results revealed that maternal offending was associated with higher starting levels and slower rates of decline in delinquent behavior in male and female children. Growth mixture modeling, however, revealed that a four-class solution explained patterns of delinquency in male offspring, while a three-class solution explained patterns of delinquency in female offspring. Multivariate analyses indicated that maternal offending was more strongly associated with male offending classes than female offending classes, with males in the high and slowly declining class and moderate and increasing class demonstrating the highest risk for criminal conviction in young adulthood. Conclusions Maternal offending is more strongly associated with serious patterns of delinquent behavior and risk for future criminal conviction in male offspring than in female offspring.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)50-61
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Criminal Justice
Volume54
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Delinquency
  • Intergenerational offending
  • NLSY
  • Sex differences

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law

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