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Family Disruption and Delinquency

NCJ Number
Date Published
October 1999
6 pages
Publication Series
This study examines the relationship between family disruption and delinquency.
Four thousand participants in three American cities were interviewed at regular intervals for a decade and their lives were recorded in detail. There was a consistent relationship between a greater number of family transitions and a higher level of delinquency and drug use. The magnitude of the differences between youth with no family transitions and those with many family transitions was similar across the three cities, and the relationship was statistically significant in two cities. Additional information is needed on children who thrive despite several changes in family circumstances. Research on the aftermath of conflict and divorce suggests a number of protective factors, including academic and social competence and structured school environments, that can promote resilience in adolescents who experience family transitions. Figures, references

Date Published: October 1, 1999