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Lecture 7

Sociology 2267A/B Lecture Notes - Lecture 7: Hernstein, Absenteeism

Course Code
SOC 2267A/B
Jennifer Reynolds

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Lecture 7: Chapter 7 & Owl; Family, School, Peers & Gangs
Proper socialization in childhood is important for kids not be deviant
Family Structure
Broken homes hypothesis:
Children who come from divorced and single-parent families are more likely to
become youth criminals
oSingle mothers experience longer work hours, financial stress, and social
isolation. This has an effect on parenting.
Broken Homes & Delinquency
Wells and Rankin (1991) meta-analysis found the relationship between broken
homes and delinquency:
1. Is weak at best
2. Has demonstrated consistently for 50+ years
3. Is stronger for minor vs. serious crime
4. Negative effects are greater for boys than girls
Family Structure
Her research:
oFamily, structure & mental health
oMental health and delinquency
Especially for single mothers
oFamily structure and delinquency
oBoys vs. girls
Research shows that what is more important than family structure is the parent-
child relationship, parenting skills, and conflict within the home
Role modeling, most single parents are female, boys need to have a positive male
role models
Parenting Style: Baumrind
Parental responsiveness:
o“The extent to which parents are supportive of their childrens needs”
Parental demandingness:
o“The extent to which parents are demanding of appropriate behaviour
from their children”
Baumrind claims there are four types of parenting style:
1. Authoritative
Set standards for their kids, based on their ages

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Least likely to have problematic kids
2. Authoritarian
Value obedience, restricted in what they can do, are punished with
punitive means
Most likely to have problematic kids
3. Indulgent
Allow considerable freedom, want to be friends, shun formal discipline, 2
and a Half Men
They do get in trouble, not major though
4. Indifferent
Don’t spend a lot of time with the kids, no solid emotional relationship
with child
They do get in trouble, not major
What does the data show?
Authoritative parents have the least amount of criminality among their kids
NLSCY survey: parenting styles have a greater impact on youth criminality than
broken homes or poverty
oDepends when the parent comes in
oMost important predictor, is the gender of the kid
Theorizing about family
Differential association
oChildren of criminal parents more likely to become criminal
oSome studies support this claim
Control theory
oChildren who lack parental attachment will have higher rates of
delinquency and criminality
oSome studies support this claim
Overall, the relationship is a complex one
How would the different theories discussed, link delinquency and family
The meaning of family attachment
Positive emotional attachments between parent and child reduced delinquency
Focus typically on the mother & feelings of warmth, hostility, etc.
There are strong connections between a father’s negative behaviour (absenteeism,
violence, substance abuse) and delinquency
What are the consequences of weak attachments to parents?
A variety of abuse-related problems (childhood victimization)
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