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Theft 2006

By: Fagan, Patrick, Johnson, Kirk A., and Jonathan Butcher

Using data from both waves of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, these researchers find that the group with the smallest proportion of adolescents committing a theft of $50 or more is intact married families (13%). This group was followed by cohabiting natural parents (14.5%), never-married single parents (18.8%), divorced single parents (19%), stepfamilies (19.8%), and cohabiting natural mother with boyfriend (22.6%)

A portrait of family and religion in America: Key outcomes for the common good. Heritage Foundation:Washington, D.C


Adolescent Violence 2005
By: Knoester, Chris, and Dana L. Hayne

This study analyzed data in the National Longitudinal Survey of Adolescent Health and found after controlling for background characteristics that a 32% increase in the proportion of single-parent families in a neighborhood is associated with a 138% increase in an adolescent’s expected level of violence.

Community context, social integration into family, and youth violence. Journal of Marriage and Family 67 (3): 767-80


Child Incarceration 2004
By: Harper, Cynthia C., and Sara S. Maclanahan

These researchers find from data in the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth that children raised in mother-father households have a significantly smaller change of being incarcerated in the future than do children raised in other family structures.  Relative to children in father-absent families children from mother-father families still have significantly lower chances of being incarcerated after controlling for the timing of the father’s departure.

Father absence and youth incarceration. Journal of Research on Adolescence 14 (3): 369-98.


Juvenile Delinquency 2004
By: Demuth, Stephen, and Susan L. Brown

These researchers study data from the 1995 National Longitudinal Survey of Adolescent Health and find that average juvenile delinquency levels are lowest among two-biological-parent married families relative to single-parent and stepparent families.

Family structure, family processes, and adolescent delinquency: The significance of parental absence versus parental gener. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency 41 (1): 58-81.


Child Abuse 2003
By: Putnam, Frank W

This review of child abuse research finds that the presence of a stepfather in the home doubles the risk of girls in the home being sexually abused, whether by the stepfather or by another male before the stepfather arrives. Extended maternal absence is also a risk factor for sexual abuse.

Ten-year research update review: Child sexual abuse. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (3): 269-78.


Homicide 2003
By: Kubrin, Charles E

Based on homicide data for the city of St. Louis, this researcher finds a positive association between the percentage of children not living with both parents in a community and the incidence of homicide. This association holds for domestic homicide, felony hemoicide, general altercation homicide, and total homicide.

Structural covariates of homicide rates: Does type of homicide matter? Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency 40 (2): 139-70.


Juvenile Delinquency 2003
By: Manning, Wendy D., and Kathleen A. Lamb

Using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, these researchers find that adolescents living with married biological parents are less likely to exhibit delinquent behaviours such as deliberately damaging property, stealing, seriously injuring another individual, selling drugs, etc., than youths living in mother-only, step-father, and cohabiting partner family structures.

Ten-year research update review: Child sexual abuse. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (3): 269-78.


Juvenile Delinquency 2003
By: Smith, David J., and Susan McVie

Using data from 1998 on secondary school children in Edinburgh, Scotland, this researcher finds that teens living in two-birth-parent family structures have the lowest volume of teens committing juvenile offenses: 28% lower than single-mother families, 39% lower than step-parent families, and 46% lower than single-father families.

Theory and method in the Edinburgh study of youth transitions and crime. British Journal of Criminology 43 (1): 169-95.


Juvenile Delinquency and Anger 2003
By: Hagan, John, and Holly Foster

Using data from the 1995 National Longitudinal Survey of Adolescent Health, these researchers find that adolescents living in two-biological-parent families had lower levels of delinquency than adolescents from other family structures.  They also reported lower levels of anger, which the authors cite as one of the sources of violently delinquent behavior both in the present and later in life.

S/He’s a rebel: Toward a sequential stress theory of delinquency and gendered pathways to disadvantage in emerging adulthood. Social Forces 82 (1): 53-86.


Domestic Violence 2002
By: Yexley, Melinda, Borowsky, Iris, and Marjorie Ireland

Using data from the 1998 Minnesota Student Survey, this study finds that smaller proportions of children living with both biological parents are exposed to domestic violence.  Only 4.4% of those living with both biological parents reported witnessing domestic violence in their homes while 9.9% of adolescents not living with both biological parents reported witnessing violence in their homes.  In addition, only 3.5% of those living with both biological parents reported they had been direct victims of domestic violence compared with 6.9% of adolescents not living with both biological parents.  Finally, only 5.8% of adolescents living with both biological parents reported both witnessing and being victims of violence in their home compared to 11.5% of their peer who did not live with both parents.

Correlation between different experiences of intrafamilial physical violence and violent adolescent behavior. Journal of Interpersonal Violence 17 (7): 707-20.


Gang Membership 2002
By: Li, Xiaoming, Stanton, Bonita, Pack, Robert, Harris, Carole, Cottrell, Lesley, and James Burns

Using data on 349 urban African-American youths, these researchers find that only 21% of current gang members and 19% of former gang members lived with both of their parents. Furthermore, 87 percent of youths that reported living with both biological parents were not gang members.

Risk and protective factors associated with gang involvement among urban African-American adolescents.Youth and Society 34 (2): 172-94.


Violent Crimes 2000
By: Osgood, Wayne D., and Jeff M. Chambers

This study tests data from 264 non-metropolitan counties in four US states and finds that a 13% increase in the proportion of female-headed households in US rural areas will double the overall violent crime offense rate among juveniles.  Violent crimes include crimes such as rape, assault, and robbery.  The researchers found this to be the strongest association in their model.

Social disorganization outside the metropolis: An analysis of rural youth violence. Criminology 38 (1): 81-115.