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Parents, Identities, and Trajectories of Antisocial Behavior from Adolescence to Young Adulthood

NCJ Number
Journal of Developmental and Life-Course Criminology Volume: 2 Issue: 4 Dated: 2016 Pages: 442-465
Date Published
24 pages
Since assessments of young adult well-being often focus on family formation and employment experiences, while ignoring the potentially important, continuing role of the parents of young adults, this study examined whether and how parental influence reaches beyond the adolescent years.

Drawing on longitudinal data from the Toledo Adolescent Relationships Study (TARS) (N-1,242) and multilevel modeling, analyses examined direct and indirect ways that traditional parenting practices, as well as parental histories of problematic behavior influenced trajectories of offspring antisocial behavior. Parental antisocial experiences influenced young adult outcomes and operated through youths' own developing identities. Youths whose parents scored higher on an index of antisocial behavior were more likely to agree with partier and troublemaker labels. Traditional parenting factors, such as parental support and harsh parenting, also influenced respondents' own trajectories of antisocial behavior. Thus, parental influence persisted net of young adult gainful activity (school, employment), parenthood, and intimate involvement. The results of the current study highlight that parent-child relationships and their association with antisocial behavior remains fluid and dynamic well into adolescence and young adulthood. Parents are also implicated in the adoption of problematic identities which in turn are associated with antisocial behavior. Taken together, greater attention should be given to how parents shape and influence the trajectories of behavior among their adolescent and young adult offspring. 3 tables (publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: January 1, 2016