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Influence of Parental Support Among Incarcerated Adolescent Offenders: The Moderating Effects of Self-Control

NCJ Number
Criminal Justice and Behavior Volume: 34 Issue: 2 Dated: February 2007 Pages: 229-245
Shayne Jones; Elisabeth Cauffman; Alex R. Piquero
Date Published
February 2007
17 pages
This study examined the interrelationships among parental support, impulse control, and consideration for others among an incarcerated sample of adolescents (n=248).
The study found that parental support--measured by youths' perceptions of their parents as loving, responsive, and involved in their lives--was significantly related to antisocial behavior among a sample of incarcerated adolescents. Youths' perceptions of parental support continued to exert an effect on antisocial behavior even when the parents were not physically present. Beyond the direct effects of youths' perceptions of parental support, there were significant indications that the effect of parental support on antisocial behavior was moderated by two facets of self-control, i.e. impulse control and caring for others. Parental support was more influential in reducing antisocial behavior among youth who scored lower in impulse control, but it was less potent among those who had low scores in caring for others. The findings suggest that interventions which target family factors may be beneficial for young offenders who are low in impulse control, but they are less likely to benefit youth with low levels of concern for others. The study involved 145 male and 103 female incarcerated offenders. Data were collected between 1996 and 1997 through self-report questionnaires. The questionnaires contained instruments that measured demographics, antisocial behavior, perceptions of parental support, and self-control. 4 tables, 5 notes, and 80 references