Relationships between family and community factors on delinquency and violence among african american adolescents: A critical review

Rebecca L. Fix, Barry R. Burkhart

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Among the most powerful antecedents to delinquency and violence are the family of origin and the community context in which the adolescent lives. Additionally, it is recognized that family and community factors may mutually and interactively influence delinquency. Fourteen studies were reviewed to examine the relationship between family and community factors on delinquency or violence among male African American adolescents. Nine studies examined delinquency, three studies examined violence, and two studies had both delinquency and violence as outcome variables. Findings affirmed the importance of concurrently examining community and family factors when investigating delinquency or violence. Two overarching patterns between family and community factors on delinquency and violence were observed across studies. Protective family factors appeared to buffer against the negative impact of influential community factors, while protective community factors appeared to reduce delinquency or violence on the family level. Additionally, the presence of detrimental factors at both family and community levels exacerbated delinquency or violence. Race/ethnicity moderated observed family–community relationships in several studies, but insufficient evidence of race/ethnicity as a moderator was indicated overall. Finally, future research is warranted examining models of delinquency and violence that includes multiple contexts with race/ethnicity as a moderator.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)378-404
Number of pages27
JournalRace and Justice
Volume5
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2015
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Black
  • Illegal behavior
  • Juvenile
  • Neighborhood
  • Race/ethnicity
  • Relatives
  • Violent

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law

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