Relationship Dynamics, Gender, and Criminal Offending in Fragile Families
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- Paat, YF. & Hope, T.L. J Fam Viol (2015) 30: 227. doi:10.1007/s10896-014-9666-6
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Using data collected from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, this study investigated the links between intimate partners’ relationship dynamics and criminal offending in “fragile families.” We assessed the mechanisms underlying relationships among parents with young children from the perspective of three dominant theories in the field of criminology (i.e., strain, social control/bonding, and social learning theories), as well as the potential moderating effects of gender. In this study, criminal offending is operationalized as whether the respondents have been formally “booked or charged with breaking a law” since the last data collection period. Overall, our study lends some support for all three theories, but we found little evidence that the relationships among our substantive predictor variables and formal contact with the criminal justice system differed by gender.