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date: 01 April 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Western culture has a very high regard for parenting. The belief that parents have the power to shape, mold, and develop their children is based on tradition born out of experience, the influence of Christian beliefs about the sanctity of family and parents, and political forces on the left and right. In criminology, the “cause and cure” for crime has also been linked to the complex dynamics of the family. Parenting works two ways: it is a cause of, and a cure for, crime. This article examines the evidence that links parental socialization efforts to child and adolescent problem behavior. It also offers an alternative view on the limits of parenting and proposes a series of theoretical and empirical reasons that should temper some of the more overarching claims about the role of parents in the delinquency of their children.

Keywords: parenting, crime, family, parental socialization, problem behavior, parents, delinquency, criminology

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