- Exposure to lead, through well water, before age 6 years is also associated with an increased risk of delinquency in adolescence.
- Children who are not cared for at home are also more likely to display problem behaviors.
Does the structure of the family in which adolescents live influence their behavior? That is the question asked by researchers at Malmö University in Sweden. To answer this, scientists decided to conduct a study of them The results were published in the journal PLUS ONE. They studied data from four surveys conducted between 2016 and 2019 in the south of the country. A total of 3,838 adolescents aged 14–15 years were involved in this work. The authors looked at the participants’ family structure and their problematic behavior (shoplifting, graffiti, etc.) or not.
Correlation between delinquency and family structure
According to the results, adolescents who grew up in a single-parent household, with their father and stepmother or with their mother and stepfather, reported having more deviant behavior than adolescents living with both parents. Young people who live in “equal” families, that is, whose parents live separately, share custody, and are both single or both have a new partner, report low levels of delinquency. However, adolescents who live in “unequal” families, that is, in which only one parent has a new partner, are associated with greater delinquency.
“This study shows the importance of moving to use more detailed classifications of family structure in relation to deviance. We need to learn more about the group of adolescents who pass from one parent to another, particularly the different types of unequal and homozygous families,” We can read in the works.
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