Adolescent boys more prone to delinquency without a father

November 24, 2011

( -- Adolescent boys are more prone to delinquency if they do not have a father figure in their lives, a University of Melbourne study has found, while adolescent girls seem unaffected by the presence or absence of fathers in their lives.

The study, undertaken by the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research at the Faculty of Business and Economics, found that the presence of a father figure during adolescence was most likely to have a preventive effect on whether male youths engage in risk-taking and deviant behaviour.

While active involvement and interaction between and youths was found to be beneficial, it did not explain the positive benefits of children who grow up with fathers in the household.

“The sense of security generated by the presence of a male role model in a ‟s life has protective effects for a child, regardless of the degree of interaction between the child and father,” Professor Deborah Cobb-Clark, Director of the Melbourne Institute said.

“Fathers provide children with male role models and can influence children‟s preferences, values and attitudes, while giving them a sense of security and boosting their self-esteem. They also increase the degree of adult supervision at home, which may lead to a direct reduction of delinquent behaviour.”

Using American data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, three factors were studied in the role of fathers influencing youth : parental involvement and interaction, contribution to household income and engagement with a father figure by simply being present at home.

Unlike previous studies in the field, "Fathers and Youths‟ Delinquent Behaviour‟ which was co-authored by Professor Erdal Tekin from Georgia State University, examines the full range of father figure roles and modern family structures, Professor Cobb-Clark said.

“Our study included residential and non-residential, biological fathers and residential stepfathers and their influence on adolescent behaviours,” Professor Cobb-Clark said.

“We find that engage in more delinquency without a father figure in their lives. ‟ behaviours are less closely linked to this, which may be attributed to the inherent levels of risk-taking that vary between males and females.”

Additionally, higher family incomes were found to have little effects on solving the problems associated with youth delinquency.

The full study ‘Fathers and Youths’ Delinquent Behaviour’ is available for download at

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3 / 5 (2) Nov 24, 2011
Classical mistake by the social scientists. They fail to take into account the heridity of personality.

To put it bluntly, the "jerk" fathers - yes, a father that does not try to spend time with his kids is a jerk - may pass down their "jerk" genes to their boys. In the boys, the "jerk" genes express themselves by having them commit petty crimes.

Unfortunately, the social scientist always seem to "forget" the possible genetic origin of personality when doing their studies. Why let the truth come in the way of a "good" article?
0.1 / 5 (35) Nov 24, 2011
Have you noticed that Jerk genes are Homologous with gear head and gun grubber genes?
Constitution First
not rated yet Nov 29, 2011
Vendicar_Decarian says: "Have you noticed that Jerk genes are Homologous with gear head and gun grubber genes?"

Actually, no, my uber-Liberal friend. My alcoholic and physiologically abusive father was a college graduate (Journalism major/ Psychology minor) who hated guns and hotrods.
I only wished he was a hunter and hotrod enthusiast.
not rated yet Nov 29, 2011
So what you're saying is that fathers are important to their sons? That's just crazy enough to be true. The next thing you Smart People will tell us is that they're important to their daughters as well.

Of course it was Smart People who told us in the past that fathers weren't I'm confused.

But hey!...what would we do without Smart People to tell us these things?

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