Parental Behavior and Juvenile Offending

How Paternal and Maternal Behavior Influences Desistance

  • Lisa Dunkley East Tennesee State University
  • Aaron J Gardner East Tennessee State University
  • Julia Bernard East Tennessee State University
  • Charlene Harris State University of New York at Oswego


The family serves as the primary socializing institution and a key predictor for the involvement of deviant activities for youths. Social bonds between parent and child serve many purposes such as providing healthy attachment necessary to curb antisocial behaviors. Without bonds and feelings of love, deviant behaviors may ensue in children. Using a cross-sectional design, the current study examined the impact of parental behavior on the prediction of desistance from crime among serious juvenile offenders. Results indicated parental behavior is a predictor for desistance from crime. Implications for human and rehabilitation service professionals, research and scholarship are also discussed.