JOURNAL ARTICLE

Parent—child relations and offending during young adulthood

Wendi L Johnson, Peggy C Giordano, Wendy D Manning, Monica A Longmore
Journal of Youth and Adolescence 2011, 40 (7): 786-99
20865307
There is a long tradition of studying parent-child relationships and adolescent delinquency. However, the association between parent-child relationships and criminal offending during young adulthood is less well understood. Although the developmental tasks of young adulthood tend to focus on intimate relationships, employment, and family formation, the parent-child bond persists over the life course and likely continues to inform and shape behavior beyond adolescence. Using data from the Toledo Adolescent Relationships Study (TARS), the influence of parental involvement on patterns of offending among respondents interviewed first as adolescents (mean age of 15 years), and later as young adults (mean age of 20 years), is examined. The TARS sample used for our study (N = 1,007) is demographically diverse (49.5% female; 25.3% Black; 7.2% Hispanic) and includes youth beyond those enrolled in college. The influences of both early and later parenting factors such as support, monitoring and conflict on young adults' criminal behavior are examined. Results show that early monitoring and ongoing parental support are associated with lower offending in young adulthood. These effects persist net of peer influence and adolescent delinquency. This suggests the importance of examining multiple ways in which parental resources and support influence early adult behavior and well-being.

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