Influence of Parental Low Self-control

Subject: Law
Type: Informative Essay
Pages: 3
Word count: 628
Topics: Juvenile Delinquency, Adolescence, Crime, Criminal Justice, Parenting


Criminality and parental control have a closer relationship according to psychologists who have studied the behavior of adolescents. Applying the social control theory, the experts argue that parental behavior is critical in determining the functionality of a family especially in the investigation juvenile delinquency. Accordingly, they link low self-control to parents with extensive involvement traits, a fact which contributes to bidirectional relationships. This implies that parents and their children go different ways in forging identity of belonging and influence. Overall, this is backed by studies conducted and supported by variables that demonstrate the truth of the assertion above with a few limitations which the paper will cover. 

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Literature Review

In a paper published in the Youth, Violence and Juvenile Justice journal, Ryan C. Meldrum and others argue that self-control theory has been instrumental in terms of explaining insensitive, impulsive, and even physical risk-taking that are often criminal in context and which fuels juvenile delinquency. Accordingly, their research attempts to explore the primary role of low self-control that can cause undesirable outcomes especially when one’s mental health is unstable. They add on the issue behaviors and attitudes of parents who maybe a little relaxed in terms of controlling their children. However, the study fails to account for the bidirectional influence that has been fundamental in influencing adolescents to engage in crime. 

Martha Gault-Sherman builds on this argument in a study published in the journal of J Youth Adolescence. She posits that monitoring, attachment, and parental involvement is part of the interactional theory and hence cannot be associated with criminal tendencies. Her research uses empirical studies to support this claim while attributing developmental theories to the effects of parenting as the reason for delinquency. The article continues to support the idea of social control as part of cross-sectional results that have a huge effect on social bonds of the adolescents which eventually contributes to juvenile delinquency. 


This study employed different independent and dependent variables that contribute to the conclusion that reciprocal relationships have an effect on juvenile delinquency. Therefore, the dependent variable in the research is behavior as a model that constantly shifts depending the self-control or lack thereof the parent (Meldrum et al., 2017). Alternatively, the dependent variable is parenting as a factor that is a constant in the life of the adolescent. In other words, the two variables complement each other through the social control and interactional theories to determine the influence of crime amongst youngsters. 

Type of Data

The data presented in both studies is qualitative since they describe in words rather through empirical findings in form of numbers the outcome of the parental control on the juvenile delinquency. Some aspects of qualitative data include the level of commitment, the existence of belief and degree of involvement of parents in control their adolescent children and the factors that predispose them to crime (Sherman, 2012)

Administrative Data

Existence of administrative data is evident in form of the indication of funding and further notes that enrich the research not for other researchers but even for administrators. Notably, the notes reveal the conferences held between child’s probation officer and other related information on misdemeanor meant for authorities (Meldrum et al., 2017). It is here that limitations abound such as the challenges of receiving adequate funding for the project. In conclusion, parental control still has a big effect when it comes to the increase or decrease of juvenile delinquency. 

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  1. Meldrum, R. et al. (2017). “At the End of Their Rope: A Research Note on the Influence of Parental Low Self-Control and Juvenile Delinquency on Parental Exasperation.” Youth, Violence and Juvenile Justice, 15 (3), 314-324. 
  2. Sherman, M. (2012). “It’s a Two-Way Street: The Bidirectional Relationship Between Parenting and Delinquency.” J Youth Adolescence, 41, 121-145. 
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