Document Type



Family structure and formation play a role in how children and teens develop behaviors, including the rate in which they become delinquent. Wells and Rankin (1991) report there are mixed results in studies looking at the relationship between family structure and delinquency from the past 70 years. Parents tend to be a behavior model for their children, which can reflect their relationships with a spouse, partner, or other close relationship. When there is a shift in the family structure, parent strains may be affected, including parenting practices and relationships within the household. This study addresses the relationship between parental strains and juvenile delinquency from a General Strain Theory perspective. From the data collected, it can be concluded that the closeness of the relationship between a child and caregiver has a bigger impact on juvenile delinquency than their living situations. However, teens who are living in a two-parent household are less likely to engage in delinquency than those living in a single-parent or cohabitating household.


Criminal Justice

Thesis Comittee

Dr. Jennifer Hartsfield, Thesis Advisor

Dr. Francisco Alatorre, Committee Member

Dr. Luzi Shi, Committee Member

Copyright and Permissions

Original document was submitted as an Honors Program requirement. Copyright is held by the author.