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Teenage Fatherhood as a Potential Turning Point in the Lives of Delinquent Youth

Abstract

The present study examines whether fatherhood, generally, and residential fatherhood, specifically, predicts desistance from criminal behavior and reduced contact with the criminal justice system among delinquent teens. Using multiple waves of data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997, two models were estimated and analyzed via fixed-effects negative binomial regression comparing periods of residential fatherhood to periods of non-residential fatherhood and non-fatherhood. Results indicated that nonresidential fatherhood placed delinquent teens at greater odds for future arrest compared to residential fatherhood. Further, delinquent teens when residing with their children reported less offending behaviors, such as marijuana use and drug distribution, compared to periods when they did not reside with their children.

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Correspondence to Monica D. Landers.

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Landers, M.D., Mitchell, O. & Coates, E.E. Teenage Fatherhood as a Potential Turning Point in the Lives of Delinquent Youth. J Child Fam Stud 24, 1685–1696 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10826-014-9971-y

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Keywords

  • Teenage fatherhood
  • Residential fathers
  • Delinquency