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Parenting styles and criminal involvement: A test of Baumrind's typology

ProQuest Dissertations and Theses, 2011
Dissertation
Author: Jason D Spraitz
Abstract:
The current study sought to examine the relationship between perceived parenting styles and level of criminal involvement. Baumrind's typology of parenting styles is based on research conducted approximately 40 years ago (Baumrind, 1967, 1971, 1972; Baumrind & Black, 1967). Despite its longevity in the social sciences, the typology has enjoyed limited empiricism in the field of criminology. Four parenting styles form the crux of Baumrind's typology. These four styles: authoritarian, authoritative, neglecting/rejecting, and permissive parenting are defined by the level of demandingness and responsiveness that parents display. This study provided an in-depth examination of demandingness, responsiveness, and the four parenting styles that their convergence creates. Prior empirical research examining the effects that parents' parenting styles have on their children is assessed. A methodology was devised that allowed the researcher to study the perceptions of parenting styles and the impact that they had on subsequent deviant, delinquent, and criminal involvement among two different samples - county jails inmates and university students. University students were randomly selected to participate, were contacted via university email, and were asked to complete an online survey. A convenience sample of jail inmates was asked to complete a paper copy of the same survey. The results from this study suggest that the permissive parenting style is the least problematic and that those parented by permissive parents are less likely to engage in acts of deviance, delinquency, and crime. Not surprisingly, respondents parented by neglecting/rejecting parents were more likely to report engagement in deviant, delinquent, and criminal acts. Meanwhile, the authoritarian and authoritative parenting styles predicted very few behaviors. No matter one's distinction (college student or county jail inmate; female or male; non-white or white), the style by which one was parented is predictive of behavior.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Chapter Page

I INTRODUCTION ........................................................................................................ .... 1 The Current Study ............................................................................................................ 3 II LITERATURE REVIEW ................................................................................................. 6 Conceptualization of Baumrind’ s Four Parenting Typologies ......................................... 6 Demandingness ................................................................................................... 6 Confrontation .......................................................................................... 7 Monitoring .............................................................................................. 7 Consistent discipline ............................................................................... 8 Responsiveness ................................................................................................... 8 Warmth ................................................................................................... 9 Reciprocity .............................................................................................. 9

Communication and discourse .............................................................. 10 Authoritarian ..................................................................................................... 11 Authoritative ..................................................................................................... 15 Permissive ......................................................................................................... 16 Neglecting/Rejecting ......................................................................................... 19 Examining Parenting Style and Child Behavior ............................................................. 20

The Link between Parenting Style and Deviant Behavior ................................ 21

Alcohol, tobacco, and substance use ..................................................... 22

The Link between Parenting Style an d Delinquent/Criminal Behavior ........... 30 Adolescent delinquent behavior ............................................................ 30 x  

Criminal behavior ................................................................................. 43 The Current Study .......................................................................................................... 48 Relationship to Prior Literature and Justification for Study ............................. 48 Relevance to the Field of Criminology ............................................................. 50 Pre-Test of Parenting Style Measures ............................................................................ 51 Justification for Pre-Test ................................................................................... 52 Methodology ..................................................................................................... 53 Results ............................................................................................................... 55 Test of internal consistency .................................................................. 55 Test of discriminant validity ................................................................. 56 Conclusion ........................................................................................................ 60 III METHODOLOGY ......................................................................................................... 61 Research Questions and Hypotheses .............................................................................. 61 Site Selection .................................................................................................................. 62 County Jail #1 ................................................................................................... 63 County Jail #2 ................................................................................................... 63 The University .................................................................................................. 64 Sampling and Survey Administration ............................................................................ 64 County Jails ....................................................................................................... 64 The University .................................................................................................. 66 Survey Instrument .......................................................................................................... 68 Baumrind Measures .......................................................................................... 69 Other Parenting Measures ................................................................................. 71 xi  

Level of Criminal Involvement – Dependent Variable ..................................... 72 Demographics ................................................................................................... 74 Reliability and Validity .................................................................................................. 74 Reliability .......................................................................................................... 74 Validity ............................................................................................................. 74 Threats to validity ................................................................................. 75 Human Subject Protections ............................................................................................ 77 Limitations ...................................................................................................................... 78 Strengths ......................................................................................................................... 80 Analysis Plan .................................................................................................................. 81 IV ANALYSIS AND RESULTS ........................................................................................ 84 Frequencies and Descriptive Statistics ........................................................................... 85 Demographic Variables .................................................................................... 85 Caretaker Variables ........................................................................................... 89 Maternal Caretaker ................................................................................ 90 Paternal Caretaker ................................................................................. 92 Parenting Scales ............................................................................................................. 95 Test of Internal Consistency ............................................................................. 95 Perceptions of Parenting Styles ........................................................................ 96 Dependent Variable Scales ........................................................................................... 100 Internal Consistency of Dependent Variable Scales ....................................... 101 Frequencies of Dependent Variables .............................................................. 102 Total Sample ....................................................................................... 102 xii  

University Students ............................................................................. 104 County Jail Inmates............................................................................. 105 White Respondents ............................................................................. 107 Non-White Respondents ..................................................................... 109 Females ............................................................................................... 111 Males ................................................................................................... 112 Bivariate Correlations ................................................................................................... 114 Multiple Regression ..................................................................................................... 116 Model One: Effect of Parenting Style on Deviant, Delinquent, and Criminal Behavior – Full Sample ................................................................... 118 Predatory Property Crimes .................................................................. 118 Predatory Person Crimes..................................................................... 119 Illegal Services Crimes ....................................................................... 120 Public Disorder Offenses .................................................................... 120 Deviant Behaviors ............................................................................... 121 Alcohol/Drugs ..................................................................................... 122 Subscale: Alcohol/Soft Drugs ............................................................. 122 Subscale: Hard Drugs ......................................................................... 123 Summary ............................................................................................. 124 V ANALYSIS AND RESULTS: REGRESSION COMPARISONS .............................. 126 Model Two ................................................................................................................... 126 Effect of Parenting Style on Deviant, Delinquent, and Criminal Behavior – University Students and County Jail Inmates ............... 126 xiii  

Predatory Property Crimes – University Students .............................. 126 Predatory Person Crimes – University Students ................................. 127 Illegal Services Crimes – University Students .................................... 127 Public Disorder Offenses – University Students ................................ 128 Deviant Behaviors – University Students ........................................... 129 Alcohol/Drugs – University Students ................................................. 129 Subscale: Alcohol/Soft Drugs – University Students ......................... 129 Subscale: Hard Drugs – University Students ...................................... 130 Predatory Property Crimes – County Jail Inmates .............................. 130 Predatory Person Crimes – County Jail Inmates................................. 131 Illegal Services Crimes – County Jail Inmates ................................... 132 Public Disorder Offenses – County Jail Inmates ................................ 132 Deviant Behaviors – County Jail Inmates ........................................... 132 Alcohol/Drugs – County Jail Inmates ................................................. 133 Subscale: Alcohol/Soft Drugs – County Jail Inmates ......................... 133 Subscale: Hard Drugs – County Jail Inmates ..................................... 134 Summary ............................................................................................. 135 Model Three: Effect of Parenting Style on Deviant, Delinquent, and Criminal Behavior – Females and Males ................................................. 136 Predatory Property Crimes – Females ................................................ 136 Predatory Person Crimes – Females ................................................... 137 Illegal Services Crimes – Females ...................................................... 137 Public Disorder Offenses – Females ................................................... 138 xiv  

Deviant Behaviors – Females ............................................................. 138 Alcohol/Drugs – Females ................................................................... 139 Subscale: Alcohol/Soft Drugs – Females ........................................... 139 Subscale: Hard Drugs – Females ........................................................ 139 Predatory Property Crimes – Males .................................................... 140 Predatory Person Crimes – Males ....................................................... 140 Illegal Services Crimes – Males ......................................................... 141 Public Disorder Offenses – Males ...................................................... 141 Deviant Behaviors – Males ................................................................. 142 Alcohol/Drugs – Males ....................................................................... 142 Subscale: Alcohol/Soft Drugs – Males ............................................... 142 Subscale: Hard Drugs – Males ............................................................ 143 Summary ............................................................................................. 144 Research Hypotheses .................................................................................................... 145 Hypothesis 1: Reported Parenting Styles ........................................................ 145 Hypothesis 2: Effects of Parenting on the Entire Sample ............................... 146 Hypothesis 3: Parenting Effects on University Students and County Jail Inmates .................................................................................. 147 Hypothesis 4: Parenting Effects on Females and Males ................................. 148 Hypothesis 5: Parenting Effects on Whites and Non-Whites ......................... 148 Summary ...................................................................................................................... 149 VI DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION .......................................................................... 151 Discussion of Research Findings ................................................................................. 152 xv  

Extended Measurement Instrument ................................................................ 153 Impact of Neglecting/Rejecting Parenting ...................................................... 154 Impact of Permissive Parenting ...................................................................... 155 Impact of Authoritative Parenting .................................................................. 156 Summary of the Impact of Parenting Types ....................................... 158 Impact of Race and Sex .................................................................................. 159 Implications for Parents ................................................................................................ 162 Strengths and Limitations ............................................................................................. 164 Strengths ......................................................................................................... 164 Limitations ...................................................................................................... 166 Directions for Future Research ..................................................................................... 168 Conclusion .................................................................................................................... 171 REFERENCES ............................................................................................................. 173 APPENDICES .............................................................................................................. 184 A. Studies linking parenting st yle and behavioral problems ......................... 184 B. Studies linking parenting style and substance use .................................... 186 C. Studies linking parenti ng style and delinquency ....................................... 188 D. Studies linking parenting style and criminality......................................... 191 E. Informed Consent – Jail Inmates ............................................................... 192 F. Informed Consent – University Students ................................................... 194 G. Survey Instrument ...................................................................................... 196

xvi  

LIST OF TABLES

Table Page Table 1: Baumrind’s Typology of Parenting Styles ..................................................... 11 Table 2: Criteria for Assignment to PBR Cluster ......................................................... 13 Table 3: PAQ Extension – Items Measur ing Maternal Neglecting/Rejecting .............. 52 Table 4: PAQ Extension – Internal Consistency of Scales ........................................... 56 Table 5: Intercorrelati ons of PAQ Scores ..................................................................... 57 Table 6: PAQ Extension – Intercorrelation Scores ....................................................... 58 Table 7: Comparison of Coefficient Alpha Values: Full Scale vs. Split-Half .............. 70 Table 8: Frequencies and Per centages – Age of Sample .............................................. 85 Table 9: Frequencies and Per centages – Sex of Sample ............................................... 86 Table 10: Frequencies and Percentages – Race of Sample ........................................... 88 Table 11: Frequencies and Percenta ges for Maternal Caretakers ................................. 90 Table 12: Independent Samples T- Test: Caretaker Variables – Between Sample, Race, and Sex ................................................................................... 91 Table 13: Frequencies and Percentages for Paternal Caretakers .................................. 92 Table 14: Frequencies and Percentage s – Who Respondents Lived With .................... 94 Table 15: Internal Consistency of PAQ-Related Measures .......................................... 96 Table 16: Descriptive St atistics for Measures of Parenting Type ................................. 97 Table 17: Independent Samples T-Test – Between Sample, Race, Sex ....................... 99 Table 18: Dependent Variable Scales and Subscales ................................................. 100 Table 19: Internal Consistency of Dependent Variable Scales ................................... 102 Table 20: Frequencies and Percentage s for DV Scales – Full Sample ....................... 103 xvii  

Table 21: Frequencies and Percentages for DV Subscales – Full Sample ................. 103 Table 22: Frequencies and Percentages for Drug/Alcohol Use – Full Sample ........... 104 Table 23: Frequencies and Percentages for DV Scales – University Students ........... 104 Table 24: Frequencies and Percentages for DV Subscales – University Students ..................................................................................................... 105 Table 25: Frequencies and Percentages for DV Scales – Inmates .............................. 106 Table 26: Frequencies and Percentages for DV Subscales – Inmates ........................ 107 Table 27: Independent Samples T-Test: DV Scales – Sample Groups ...................... 107 Table 28: Frequencies and Percentages for DV Scales – White Respondents ........... 108 Table 29: Frequencies and Percentages for DV Subscales – White Respondents ..................................................................................................... 109 Table 30: Frequencies and Percentages for DV Scales – Non-White Respondents ............................................................................................. 109 Table 31: Frequencies and Percentages for DV Subscales – Non-White Respondents ............................................................................................. 110 Table 32: Independent Samples T-Test: DV Scales – Race ....................................... 110 Table 33: Frequencies and Percentages for DV Scales – Females ............................. 111 Table 34: Frequencies and Percentages for DV Subscales – Females ........................ 111 Table 35: Frequencies and Percentages for DV Scales – Males ................................. 112 Table 36: Frequencies and Percentages for DV Subscales – Males ........................... 113 Table 37: Independent Samples T-Test: DV Scales – Sex ......................................... 113 Table 38: Bivariate Correlation Matrix....................................................................... 115 Table 39: Full Sample – Predatory Property ............................................................... 118 xviii  

Table 40: Full Sample – Predatory Person ................................................................. 119 Table 41: Full Sample – Illegal Services .................................................................... 120 Table 42: Full Sample – Public Disorder .................................................................... 121 Table 43: Full Sample – Deviant Behaviors ............................................................... 121 Table 44: Full Sample – All Alcohol/Drug Use ......................................................... 122 Table 45: Full Sample – Alcohol/Soft Drug Use ........................................................ 123 Table 46: Full Sample – Hard Drug Use .................................................................... 124 Table 47: University Students – Predatory Property .................................................. 127 Table 48: University Students – Predatory Person ..................................................... 127 Table 49: University Students – Illegal Services ........................................................ 128 Table 50: University Students – Public Disorder ....................................................... 128 Table 51: University Students – Alcohol/Soft Drug Use............................................ 130 Table 52: County Inmates – Predatory Property ......................................................... 131 Table 53: County Inmates – Predatory Person ........................................................... 131 Table 54: County Inmates – Public Disorder .............................................................. 132 Table 55: County Inmates – Alcohol/Drug Use ......................................................... 133 Table 56: County Inmates – Alcohol/Soft Drug Use .................................................. 134 Table 57: County Inmates – Hard Drug Use .............................................................. 134 Table 58: Female – Predatory Property ...................................................................... 136 Table 59: Female – Predatory Person ......................................................................... 137 Table 60: Female – Illegal Services ............................................................................ 137 Table 61: Female – Public Disorder ........................................................................... 138 Table 62: Female – Deviant Behavior ........................................................................ 139 xix  

xx   Table 63: Male – Predatory Property .......................................................................... 140 Table 64: Male – Predatory Person ............................................................................. 140 Table 65: Male – Illegal Services ............................................................................... 141 Table 66: Male – Deviant Behavior ............................................................................ 142 Table 67: Male – Alcohol/Soft Drug Use ................................................................... 143 Table 68: Male – Hard Drug Use ................................................................................ 143

CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION There exists a variety of criminological theori es that attempt to explain the effects, both direct and indirect, that the family has on delinquent and criminal behavior. Hirschi (1969) theorized, among other things, that the bond between parent and child factor ed into that child’s level of delinquency and crimina lity later in life. Building on th is, years later Gottfredson and Hirschi (1990) suggested that poor parental management leads to low self-control in children, which leads to subsequent delinquent or criminal behavior. Integrated theo ries that explore the life-course of criminal behavior also have tr ied to explain the parent -child crime link. Moffitt (1993) suggested that juvenile delinquency is caused by neurops ychological vulnerabilities in children and socialization in a cr iminogenic environment. Simply, she meant that children with neuropsychological deficiencies who are born into criminal envi ronments are more likely to succumb to deviant and delinquent behavior than those who are not born into those types of environments. Additionally, Moffitt theorized that the most significant predictor of problem behaviors in children is damage d neuropsychological functions, which are heritable; thus intimating a direct link from parent to child. Sampson and Laub’s (1993) theory of age-graded social control, which integrated social control an d learning theories, concl uded that probability of delinquency increases when family bonds break down, thus supporting the basic tenets of Hirschi’s (1969) social bond and Gottfredson a nd Hirschi’s (1990) self-control theories. While much has been done in the field of criminology to explore the parent-child crime link, the fact remains that the discipline is relatively young when compared to other social sciences and this link also has been the subject of in-depth investigation in other disciplines. As seen above, the link between parental attachment and support to delinquency and criminality has 1  

been empirically tested and supported within the field of criminology. However, it is important to continue to explore, and seek to understand, the connection between parental behavior and delinquency and criminality in children. There are numerous empirically supported psychological theories of parenting, such as attribution theory and interaction theory, which have not received much scrutiny within the field of criminology. One such psychological typology, Baumrind’s (1966, 1996, 2005; also see Maccoby & Martin, 1983) typology of parenting styles, has received very little attention from those studying the effects that parenting style has on the level of delinquent and criminal behavior in adolescents and young adults (Hoeve et al., 2009). In 1966, Baumrind officially introduced the conceptual parenting style of “authoritative control” into the child development literature. Included with this concept were the ideas of authoritarian control and permissive control (Baumrind, 1966). This early examination of these three controlling behaviors represents the seminal typology of parenting styles (Buri, 1991; Simons, Simons, & Wallace, 2004). These styles can be explained best by examining the concepts that they are steeped in – demandingness and responsiveness (Baumrind, 1996, 2005; Maccoby & Martin, 1983; Simons et al., 2004). The idea of demandingness is comprised of: direct confrontations between parent and child, parental monitoring of the child, and consistent parental discipline (Baumrind, 1996). The idea of responsiveness consists of: warmth, reciprocity, and clear communication and person- centered discourse (Baumrind, 1996). The convergence of demandingness and responsiveness results in four different parenting styles: authoritarian, authoritative, permissive, and neglecting/rejecting. Baumrind (1966) and Simons et al. (2004) discuss three of the different styles: authoritarian parents display high levels of demandingness and low levels of responsiveness; authoritative parents also display high levels of demandingness as well as high 2  

levels of responsiveness; and permissive pare nts display low levels of demandingness but high levels of responsiveness. The neglecting/rejecting style, in which parents display low levels of both demandingness and responsiveness, emer ged in later resear ch (Baumrind, 1971, 1991, 2005). The purpose of the proposed study is to exam ine the effects that parenting style has on level of criminal involvement in young adults. As the seminal typology of parenting styles (Buri, 1991; Simons et al., 2004), it is unusual that it ha s not been used more often in the study of criminal behavior. This deficiency in the empirica l literature provided justification for the current study. The Current Study Again, the purpose of this study was to determine what, if any, effects perceived parenting style has on the level of criminal involvement in adults. Much of the empirical research on Baumrind’s typology has focused on anti-social behavior in children relative to parenting style (Barber, Olsen, & Shagle, 1994; Baumrind, 1967, 1971, 1972; Baumrind & Black, 1967; Lamborn, Mounts, Steinberg, & Dornbusch, 1991; Paulussen-Hoogeboom, Stams, Hermanns, Peetsma, & van den Wittenboer, 2008; Quer ido, Warner, & Eyberg, 2002; Vieno, Nation, Pastore, & Santinello, 2009), a dolescent cigarette use (Chassin et al., 2005; Harakeh, Scholte, Vermulst, de Vries, & Engels, 2004; Huver, Enge ls, Van Breukelen, & de Vries, 2007; Jackson, Bee-Gates, & Henriksen, 1994; Jackson, Henrikse n, & Foshee, 1998; Mott, Crowe, Richardson, & Flay, 1999; Simons-Morton, Haynie, Crump, Eitel, & Saylor, 2001), substance abuse (Baumrind, 1991), and alcohol use (Patock-P eckham & Morgan-Lopez, 2007). Likewise, a number of studies are devoted to delinquency (Avenevoli, Sessa, & Steinberg, 1999; Chambers, Power, Loucks, & Swanson, 2000; Hoeve et al., 2007; Jackson et al., 1998; Palmer & Hollin, 2001; Paschall, Ringwalt, & Flewelling, 2003; Simons, Simons, Burt, Brody, & Cutrona, 2005; 3  

Stattin & Kerr, 2000; Steinberg, Blatt-Eisengart, & Cauffman, 2006; Steinberg, Lamborn, Darling, Mounts, & Dornbusch, 1994; Steinberg, Mounts, Lamborn, & Dornbusch, 1991; Walker, Maxson, & Newcomb, 2007). However, very few studies have examined the link between parenting style and criminal behavior (Haapasalo, 2001; Palmer & Gough, 2007; Schroeder, Bulanda, Giordano, & Cernkovich, 2010). Based on this lack of research of criminal outcomes associated with parenting type, it was important that the study was conducted. There were two units of analysis for the current study. The first unit of analysis was college students at one university in the northeast, while the second unit of analysis was incarcerated individuals at two county jails in one northeastern state. The units of analysis were broken into two sample groups; again, one sample group consisted of college students and the other consisted of incarcerated men and women. Two sample groups were used because the research focusing on delinquent and criminal outcomes suggests that higher levels of criminality and delinquency are associated with certain parenting styles and that lower (and no) levels of criminality and delinquency are associated with distinctly different parenting styles (Avenevoli et al., 1999; Haapasalo, 2001; Hoeve et al., 2007; Jackson et al., 1998; Palmer & Hollin, 2001; Paschall et al., 2003; Simons et al., 2005; Steinberg et al., 1991, 1994, 2006). Despite the fact that the anticipated outcomes of the current study were expected to mirror the outcomes of prior investigations, this study built on earlier research in multiple ways. First, the sample size of many of the studies (Chambers et al., 2000; Haapasalo, 2001; Palmer & Gough, 2007; Palmer & Hollin, 2001) limits the generalizability of their findings. The current study built on those small samples. Second, the current study sought to use original data to assess the link between parenting style and criminal involvement. Hoeve et al. (2007) and Simons et al. (2005) used secondary data collected from multiple datasets (including, the 4  

Pittsburgh Youth Study, the Child-rearing and Family in the Netherlands Study, and the Family and Community Health Study) to analyze the link. This is to take nothing away from secondary data analysis, but it can be argued that the conceptual definition of “parent” is dynamic and a current operational definition was necessary in order to gain a clearer understanding of the crime link under investigation. With that in mind, Chapter Two provides a discussion of Baumrind’s initial conceptualization of parenting styles. In addition, the chapter analyzes empirical research that has tested the link that parenting style has with anti-social, delinquent, and criminal outcomes in children. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the ever-changing dynamic of the family and parenting. Chapter Three provide an explanation of the research methodology that was used in this study. The overall research design, including sampling frames, formal access, informal access, and data collection procedures are discussed. In addition, this chapter provides a discussion of current and past survey design for research of this nature. This chapter also includes a discussion of data entry and subsequent data storage procedures given the nature of human subject protections that were implemented. Chapter Three concludes with a discussion of the overall analysis plan. Chapters Four and Five provide an analysis of the results of the current study. Chapter Six examines these results and provides a discussion of the results as well as implications for future research. 5  

Full document contains 230 pages
Abstract: The current study sought to examine the relationship between perceived parenting styles and level of criminal involvement. Baumrind's typology of parenting styles is based on research conducted approximately 40 years ago (Baumrind, 1967, 1971, 1972; Baumrind & Black, 1967). Despite its longevity in the social sciences, the typology has enjoyed limited empiricism in the field of criminology. Four parenting styles form the crux of Baumrind's typology. These four styles: authoritarian, authoritative, neglecting/rejecting, and permissive parenting are defined by the level of demandingness and responsiveness that parents display. This study provided an in-depth examination of demandingness, responsiveness, and the four parenting styles that their convergence creates. Prior empirical research examining the effects that parents' parenting styles have on their children is assessed. A methodology was devised that allowed the researcher to study the perceptions of parenting styles and the impact that they had on subsequent deviant, delinquent, and criminal involvement among two different samples - county jails inmates and university students. University students were randomly selected to participate, were contacted via university email, and were asked to complete an online survey. A convenience sample of jail inmates was asked to complete a paper copy of the same survey. The results from this study suggest that the permissive parenting style is the least problematic and that those parented by permissive parents are less likely to engage in acts of deviance, delinquency, and crime. Not surprisingly, respondents parented by neglecting/rejecting parents were more likely to report engagement in deviant, delinquent, and criminal acts. Meanwhile, the authoritarian and authoritative parenting styles predicted very few behaviors. No matter one's distinction (college student or county jail inmate; female or male; non-white or white), the style by which one was parented is predictive of behavior.