WDW370H1 Lecture 6

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Woodsworth College Courses

1 WDW370H1 February 27, 2012 Lecture 6 Family, School and Peer Effects Family: Birth order as a factor that had been linked to delinquency. - Birth order suggests that those who are first born in a family are said to be least likely to get involved in crime whereas children down the line, second born, third born, are at a higher risk of becoming involved in criminality. - Relatively influential book Born to Rebel by Sulloway (1991). This book argued that that is in fact the case. That first born are said to be more conservative, more supportive of authority and also tougher minded than those born later within a family. This research apparently is more or less contextualized within a framework called evolutionary psychology, which sees evolution playing a key role in why birth order has impact on criminality, but why? Why would it be the case that those who are first born in family would be less likely than those born later? What sorts of ideas would explain this apparent relationship? Controls with first born are more direct and stronger than among subsequent children, standard is set with first born and if younger children are not meeting that expectation then they might rebel, depending on how large family is parents may lose energy if they have more children may have high expectations with first born but with second and third energy and ability to remain focused may be lower, therefore lowering controls that would prevent criminality, there are a number of different expectations. Sulloway made this pronouncement that it is the case across different cultures and generations. - Research by Freese a few years later tried to address this question GSS which is a large data set that is cross sectional in nature and asks thousands of people in a stratified random sample questions that would address this birth order and criminality relationship. He found that this was not the case, that Sulloways pronouncement really had modest effects in limited domains in some societies. The effect is not as strong as Sulloway had first thought to be the case. Other factors arguably are important other than just birth order. - What else can explain the role the family has in predicting delinquency among young people? Parenting styles different parenting styles that have been linked to conformity or delinquency - No uniform way in which parenting takes place - Looking at literature theres 4 different styles of parenting: o Authoritative: Supportive yet demanding, have high expectations for children, demand that they succeed but also will support them in the quest to succeed in life o Authoritarian: Demands are still there, have expectations for kids but the kid could never do good enough, there is always a bit of rejection of the child, that the kid isnt doing as well as expected not a lot of support o Indulgent: supportive but not a whole lot of demands. The kids can do anything they want o Indifferent: parenting where theres both rejection and lack of demands. Parents really dont care, not a whole lot of demands placed upon children and there isnt much support either.2 - For kids who get in trouble with the law, tends to be linked with indifferent parenting, not a lot of monitoring or controls and this leads to kids being involved in theft, drug use, etc. - On the other hand if youre parents are highly punitive always rejecting and punishing that can also lead to young people getting involved in violence. Where conflict resolution is dealt with by using physical means - The link between parenting styles and youth getting into trouble is that the influences of parents decline over time. These influences are strong when kids are young but as youth age they wane over time and peers become more influential. - Hirschis control theory Attachments, commitments and involvement and belief, one linked to parenting is attachment. If you hold strong attachment to your parents that will have protective effect/strong control on regulating deviant behaviour. A lot of research didnt explore why some kids are attached and why others arent. Its almost sort of like blaming the young person for the lack of these attachments. There are good reasons why young people are not very strongly attached to their parents that links to experiences they had with their parents in the household. - Females that get deep into trouble that majority of females had at least at one time in life been victim of sexual or physical abuse high correlation between abuse and criminality, these kinds of lower understandable attachments can lead to problems down the line - This can also have an effect on income generation McMillan looked at victimization data and discovered that if you were a female and you were a victim of sexual assault that your earning potential on average was 5,000 dollars lower than females who were not victimized by sexual assault. Main reason for it argues McMillan, being victim of sexual assault has negative impact on persons educational attainment - Eating disorders research has show
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