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Family Conflict, Deviant Peer Association & Adolescent Delinquent Behavior: A Mediational Model PowerPoint Presentation
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Family Conflict, Deviant Peer Association & Adolescent Delinquent Behavior: A Mediational Model

Family Conflict, Deviant Peer Association & Adolescent Delinquent Behavior: A Mediational Model

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Family Conflict, Deviant Peer Association & Adolescent Delinquent Behavior: A Mediational Model

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  1. Family Conflict, Deviant Peer Association & Adolescent Delinquent Behavior: A Mediational Model Allegra Nevins

  2. Juvenile Delinquency “The violation of a law of the United States committed by a person prior to their eighteenth birthday which would have been a crime if committed by an adult.” - United States Department of Justice, 2015

  3. Prevalence of Juvenile Delinquency • Recently there has been an increase in serious crime by juveniles, including more violent acts, such as murder (Roberts, 2000) • Gangs are evolving particularly fast and recent studies suggest that up to 64% of youth in gangs have committed violent crimes (Wong, Toh, Hung & Ang, 2013) • Increase in physical aggression and gang affiliation in young girls (Snethen & Puymbroeck, 2008) • Adolescent sexual offenders are currently responsible for at least 20% of reported forcible rapes and child molestations in the United States(Burton, Miller & Shill, 2002)

  4. Why We Care • Financial and emotional tolls on individuals and society • Individuals who become involved in the juvenile justice system are at a higher risk of being “trapped” in a life of crime due to future inability to find employment (Pardini, 2016) • Adolescents who engage in significant delinquent behavior are also at “high risk for experiencing multiple deleterious outcomes” in adulthood, including mental and physical health problems, and relationship difficulties (Pardini, 2016)

  5. Social Learning Theory (Akers, 1975; Bandura, 1971) • Regarded as one of the most dominant theories in crime • Key Points: • We learn behavior by either directly or vicariously experiencing consequences • Some consequences are reinforcing while others are punishing • We perform behaviors either deliberately or inadvertently through the influence of example or modeling • Parents are most influential for children • Peer groups are most influential for adolescents • We choose behaviors that are most likely to have positive outcomes • Behavior is maintained by previous positive experiences and positive anticipated consequences

  6. Social Learning Theory (cont.) • Akers (1985) stresses the importance of differential association in social learning, which supports Bandura’s (1971) suggestion that people attend more accurately and closely to models whom they associate with to modeled behaviors with higher perceived functional value • In effect, the probability of engaging in crime and deviance is higher for people who associate with others who engage in deviance or elicit favorable attitudes towards deviance (Akers, 1985).

  7. Correlates of Delinquent Behavior • Deviant peer association • Peers with substance use problems, aggressive/destructive behaviors, and nonaggressive/rule-breaking behavior (Trudeau et al., 2012) • High family conflict • Unsupportive and unhelpful family members, a lack of “togetherness”, neglect, domestic violence, trauma, arguments/fights, abuse (sexual, physical and emotional)

  8. Why high family conflict and deviant peer association? • The importance ascribed to these specific variables lies “in their relevance to the process of child development and socialization, and their crucial role in internalizing attitudes and acquiring behaviors” (Cutrin et al., 2015, p. 59). • Explained by social learning • Modeling of and the reinforcement of delinquent behaviors • Deviant peer groups may reinforce maladaptive, delinquent acts while punishing or ignoring prosocial behaviors (Snethen & Van Puymbroeck, 2008). • Aggressive families tend to produce aggressive children (Bandura, 1971), and parents with criminal histories tend to have children who develop criminal histories (Pardini, 2016) • Studies have displayed a positive correlation between family conflict and deviant peer association (Pardini, 2016) • Some studies suggest there may be a causal link between poor parental monitoring (a hallmark of family conflict) and deviant peer association later on in life(Ary, Duncan, T., Duncan, S., & Hops, 1999).

  9. Mediational Model

  10. Hypotheses (Adapted from Baron & Kenny, 1986) • Family conflict and deviant peer association are significantly correlated. • Family conflict and behavior are significantly correlated. • Deviant peer association and delinquent behavior are correlated. • In a hierarchical regression analysis, deviant peer association significantly predicts delinquent behavior, and the relationship between family conflict and delinquent behavior becomes nonsignificant

  11. Participants • 155 participants were recruited from Crossroads Juvenile Center • Secure detention center in Brooklyn, New York • Reserved for youth who pose the highest risk • Reserved for youth who have been accused of committing serious offenses • These facilities have the most restrictive security features • Average age = 15 years • 60% male, 40% female • Racially diverse • Socioeconomically diverse • At least 7 years of education

  12. Measures • Family Cohesion Subscale of Family Environment Scale (Moos, 1974) • 9 items, true-or-false • Internationally used for adolescents- valid and reliable • Example item “There is little group spirit in our family.” • Deviant Peer Association Scale (Trudeau et al., 2013) • 15 questions, 4-point scale from 1 (none of the time) to 4 (all of the time) • Stem – “During the past 12 months, how many of your friends have…” • Subscales: Substance use (e.g “used marijuana”), aggressive/destructive behavior (e.g. “Hit someone with the idea of hurting them”), nonaggressive/rule-breaking behavior (e.g. “Cheated on a test.”) • High interrater reliability on all subscales (.91, .82, and .91, respectively) • Deviant Behavior Variety Scale (Sanches et al., 2016) • 19 yes-or-no questions (yes-> 1, no-> 0) • Valid and reliable self-report measure to evaluate adolescent’s involvement in deviance • Stem- “During the last year, have you ever…” • Example item: “Used a motorbike or car to go for a ride without the owner’s permission?”

  13. Results (Significant) • High family conflict was significantly and positively correlated with deviant peer association (r = .87) and delinquent behavior (r = 0.79) • Deviant peer association was significantly and positively correlated with delinquent behavior (r = 0.92). • Regression analysis indicated that when controlling for deviant peer association, the correlation between high family conflict and delinquent behavior became nonsignificant. Gathered together, the data support the hypothesis that deviant peer association mediates the pathway between high family conflict and delinquent behavior.

  14. Discussion (Significant Results) • Results supported a mediational model in which deviant peer association mediates the relationship between family conflict and delinquent behavior • Best predictor of delinquent behavior is deviant peer association, and family conflict predicts such associations • Results were consistent with past findings that parental influence declines and peer influence increases as individuals transition from childhood to adolescence • This shift in influence is likely due to the fact that the adolescent is spending more time with peers and that peer approval becomes increasingly important with age. • Thus, whereas kids model and adapt behavior from family members in childhood, likely leading them to form their initial deviant peer associations, adolescents take part in and are reinforced by committing delinquent acts within their established deviant peer group.

  15. Intervention Implications (Significant Results) • Can target juvenile delinquency at two points: • Childhood • Focus on familyconflict, not deviant peer association • Parents have the most influence • Goal: Prevent initial association with negative peer groups (and thus subsequent delinquent behavior) • Suggestions • Promoting and modeling prosocial behavior • Adolescence • Focus on deviant peer association, not family conflict • Peers have the most influence • Goal: Dismantle reinforcing aspects of delinquent behavior • Suggestions: • Highlight future negative consequences of delinquent behavior

  16. Results (Nonsignificant) • High family conflict was significantly and positively correlated with delinquent behavior (r = 0.79) • Deviant peer association was significantly and positively correlated with delinquent behavior (r = 0.92) • There was no significant correlation between high family conflict and deviant peer association. • Data did not support the hypothesis that deviant peer association mediates the relationship between family conflict and delinquent behavior.

  17. Discussion (Nonsignificant) • Rather than high family conflict causing an individual to form deviant peer relationships in adolescence, it is possible that high family conflict and deviant peer association independently predict delinquent behavior.

  18. Intervention Implications (Nonsignificant) • Important to include components that target both family conflict and deviant peer associations! • Of course, treatment will be tailored to the individual and more emphasis will be placed on whichever variable is the most salient

  19. Future Research • IN BOTH CASES:What interventions are the most effective? • If significant findings:Replicate the study using adolescents who are not already in a detention center, but show “trouble making” tendencies, to see if these findings can be generalized to all adolescents • If nonsignificant findings:Try using a moderational model to explain the relationship between family conflict, deviant peer association and delinquent behavior

  20. Questions?

  21. References Akers, R. L. (1985). Deviant behavior: A social learning approach (3rded). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. Ary, D. V., Duncan, T. E., Duncan, S. C., & Hops, H. (1999). Adolescent problem behavior: The influence of parents and peers. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 37, 217-223. Bandura, A. (1971). Social learning theory. New York: General Learning Press. Baron, R.M. & Kenny, D. A. (1986). The moderator-mediator variable distinction in social psychological research: Conceptual, strategic, and statistical considerations. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 22(6), 1173-1182. Burton, D. L., Miller, D. L., & Shill, C. T. (2002). A social learning theory comparison of sexual victimization of adolescent sexual offenders and nonsexual offending male delinquents. Child Abuse and Neglect, 26, 893-907. Cutrin, O., Gomez-Fraguela, J. A., & Luengo, M. A. (2015). Peer-group mediation in the relationship between family and juvenile antisocial behavior. European Journal of Psychology Applied in Legal Context, 7, 59-65. Moos, R. H. (1974). Family Environment Scale. Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologist Press.

  22. References (cont.) Pardini, D. (2016). Empirically based strategies for preventing juvenile delinquency. Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics of North America. 25(2), 257-268. Roberts, C. H. (2000). Juvenile delinquency: Cause and effect. Retrieved from teachersinstitute.yale.edu/curriculum/units/2000/2/00.02.05.x.html Sanches, C., Gouveia-Pereira, M., Maroco, J., Gomes, H., & Roncon, F. (2016). Deviant behavior variety scale: Development and validation with a sample of Portuguese adolescents. Psicologia: Reflexao e Critica, 29(31), 1-8. Snethen, G., & Van Puymbroeck, M. (2008). Girls and physical aggression: Causes, trends, and intervention guided by social learning theory. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 13, 346-354. Trudeau, L., Mason, W. A., Randall, G. K., Spoth, R. & Ralston, E. (2012). Effects of parenting and deviant peers on early to mid-adolescent conduct problems. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 40(8), 1249-1264.

  23. References (cont.) U. S. of Justice (2015). 38. “Juvenile” Defined. Criminal resource manual. Retrieved from https://www.justice.gov/usam/criminal-resource-manual38-juvenile-defined Wong, I. W. J., Toh, D. P., Hung, P. P. L., & Ang, R. P. (2013). Delinquency in gangs- Selection or socialization? Aggression and Violent Behavior, 18, 784-791.