Delinquent acts less likely for youths from religious-centered, two-parent homes

Jun 25, 2009 By Marc Ransford

(PhysOrg.com) -- A committed two-adult household with strong religious values may reduce the likelihood that youths will commit acts such as assault, vandalism and theft throughout adolescence and into early adulthood, says a new study from Ball State University.

Richard Petts, assistant professor of sociology, examined data from the National Longitudinal Survey of to determine patterns of delinquency among about 2,500 youths, finding that family and religion work together to counteract errant behavior.

"During adolescence, individuals begin to search for a personal identity and try to assert their independence," Petts said. "Parents play a key role in influencing their children's development, especially in providing social support and social control.

"Two parents may be better able than other family structures to provide the support and control necessary to deter youths from becoming delinquent. Moreover, parents who argue less frequently with their children may be better able to exert social control over them, preventing their children from becoming involved in delinquent behavior early in adolescence."

Petts points out that religion also may enhance family processes that reduce delinquency.

"The combination of and supportive parenting practices may help increase youths' feelings of social support during an often difficult life-course stage," he said. "Moreover, placing these interactions within a religious context may act as a strong mechanism of social control, deterring youths from becoming delinquent later in adolescence."

The social integration and control that religious institutions provide can compensate for a lack of support that some youths may experience in their home environments, Petts said.

"Family and Religious Characteristics' Influence on Delinquency Trajectories from Adolescence to Young Adulthood," was published in the June issue of the .

Provided by Ball State University

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User comments : 3

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mtulloch
not rated yet Jun 26, 2009
The new hate crime legislation being passed by the US federal government will ensure that crime rates rise to the levels necessary for more central control. Destruction of the core family is a necessary part of centralizing authority.
mabarker
1 / 5 (1) Aug 11, 2009
Yup - I'm a member of a vast minority: I'm still married to my 1st wife, we have 4 biological children - they're taught they did not come from bacteria - and we attend Church 3X/wk where we literally worship Jesus. Amazingly, they're perfectly normal (i.e they're taught moral absolutes - you know, the strange stuff like honoring their mother and I, praying before each meal, no murdering, no cheating, terrible stuff like that).
Ethelred
5 / 5 (1) Aug 11, 2009
I'm still married to my 1st wife,


So is Richard Dawkins. I can't help if he looks gay he is married. Surprised me. Some guys just like to dress well. Sure isn't me.

they're taught they did not come from bacteria


Ignorance is its own reward.

here we literally worship Jesus


Why do you think he wants to be worshiped. Why would ANY rational being either human(Jesus is claimed to be both human and a god although the latter is NOT in the Bible)want to be worshiped. Yes I know some people do want to that level of attention but most of us don't consider Britney Spears rational.

Amazingly, they're perfectly normal


By your standards. By mine they are ignorant. Still if they behave themselves and treat others decently like most of us Agnostics do that would be a good thing.

Of course if you check the prison populations you find very few Agnostics or Atheists. Well below the level in the general population. A good upbringing does not need to be religious. Prisons show that quite well.

Ethelred

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