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01-02-2014 | Original Paper | Uitgave 2/2014

Journal of Child and Family Studies 2/2014

Ethnic Differences in the Effect of Perceived Parenting on Juvenile Violent Delinquency of Dutch and Moroccan-Dutch Boys

Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 2/2014
Esmah Lahlah, Leontien M. Van der Knaap, Stefan Bogaerts, Kim M. E. Lens


This study considers ethnic differences in the effect of perceived parenting on juvenile delinquency in a sample of Dutch and Moroccan-Dutch boys, by focusing on several perceived maternal and paternal parenting variables. Research has since long acknowledged the association between parenting and juvenile delinquency. However, extent literature appears divided over whether or not the etiology of juvenile delinquency for ethnic minority youth is somehow distinct from standard criminological theories, or whether parenting is a culturally distinct source. Cross-cultural studies on the effect of parenting on juvenile delinquency show inconsistent findings. Furthermore, most studies focus on only one aspect of parenting resulting in limited information regarding the relative importance of various parenting aspects in the etiology of juvenile delinquency. Lastly, almost all work in this area has focused solely on maternal variables or combined maternal and paternal variables in a general categorization without considering the contribution of each parent separately. Overall, the results seem to suggest both specificity and generalizability in the effect of parenting on violent delinquency by ethnicity. Despite the mean level differences on perceived parenting variables and violent delinquency, and despite the moderate differences in the predictive relationships of the variables by ethnicity, the results suggest similarity in the patterns of associations as well. Given that both paternal and maternal parenting variables were significantly related to violent delinquency in Moroccan-Dutch boys in a manner similar to Dutch peers, it is important that social services and criminal justice offices provide prevention and intervention strategies for both fathers and mothers.

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