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Fathers and youths’ delinquent behavior

Listed author(s):
  • Deborah Cobb-Clark
  • Erdal Tekin

    ()

This paper analyzes the relationship between having one or more father figures and the likelihood that young people engage in delinquent behavior. We pay particular attention to distinguishing the roles of residential and non-residential, biological fathers as well as stepfathers. Using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, we find that adolescent boys engage in more delinquent behavior if there is no father figure in their lives. However, adolescent girls’ behavior is largely independent of the presence (or absence) of their fathers. The strong effect of family structure is not explained by the lack of paternal involvement that generally comes with fathers’ absence, even though adolescents, especially boys, who spend time doing things with their fathers usually have better outcomes. There is also a link between adult delinquent behavior and adolescent family structure that cannot be explained by fathers’ involvement with their adolescent sons and is only partially explained by fathers’ involvement with their adolescent daughters. Finally, the strong link between adolescent family structure and delinquent behavior is not accounted for by the income differentials associated with fathers’ absence. Our results suggest that the presence of a father figure during adolescence is likely to have protective effects, particularly for males, in both adolescence and young adulthood. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s11150-013-9194-9
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Article provided by Springer in its journal Review of Economics of the Household.

Volume (Year): 12 (2014)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
Pages: 327-358

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Handle: RePEc:kap:reveho:v:12:y:2014:i:2:p:327-358
DOI: 10.1007/s11150-013-9194-9
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.springer.com

Order Information: Web: http://www.springer.com/economics/microeconomics/journal/11150/PS2

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  1. Cobb-Clark, Deborah A. & Schurer, Stefanie, 2012. "The stability of big-five personality traits," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 115(1), pages 11-15.
  2. Okumura Tsunao & Usui Emiko, 2014. "Do Parents’ Social Skills Influence Their Children’s Sociability?," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 14(3), pages 1-36, July.
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  4. Deborah Cobb-Clark & Erdal Tekin, 2014. "Fathers and youths’ delinquent behavior," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 12(2), pages 327-358, June.
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  8. Shelly Lundberg, 2005. "Sons, Daughters, and Parental Behaviour," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 21(3), pages 340-356, Autumn.
  9. Mocan, Naci & Tekin, Erdal, 2003. "Guns, Drugs and Juvenile Crime: Evidence from a Panel of Siblings and Twins," IZA Discussion Papers 932, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Heather Antecol & Kelly Bedard, 2007. "Does single parenthood increase the probability of teenage promiscuity, substance use, and crime?," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 20(1), pages 55-71, February.
  11. Cesur, Resul & Sabia, Joseph J. & Tekin, Erdal, 2013. "The psychological costs of war: Military combat and mental health," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 51-65.
  12. Mocan, H Naci & Tekin, Erdal, 2006. "Guns and Juvenile Crime," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 49(2), pages 507-531, October.
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  18. John Ermisch, 2008. "Child support and non-resident fathers’ contact with their children," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 21(4), pages 827-853, October.
  19. Ian Walker & Yu Zhu, 2007. "Do Dads matter? Or is it just their money that matters? Unpicking the effects of separation on educational outcomes by and," Working Papers 200722, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
  20. Aizer, Anna, 2004. "Home alone: supervision after school and child behavior," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 1835-1848, August.
  21. Larry Bumpass & R. Raley & James Sweet, 1995. "The changing character of stepfamilies: implications of cohabitation and nonmarital childbearing," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 32(3), pages 425-436, August.
  22. Gordon B. Dahl & Enrico Moretti, 2004. "The Demand for Sons: Evidence from Divorce, Fertility, and Shotgun Marriage," NBER Working Papers 10281, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Kathleen Harris & Frank Furstenberg & Jeremy Marmer, 1998. "Paternal involvement with adolescents in intact families: The influence of fathers over the life course," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 35(2), pages 201-216, May.
  24. Sandra Hofferth, 2006. "Residential father family type and child well-being: Investment versus selection," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 43(1), pages 53-77, February.
  25. Heather Antecol & Kelly Bedard, 2002. "Does Single Parenthood Increase the Probability of Teenage Promiscuity, Drug Use and Crime?," Claremont Colleges Working Papers 2002-23, Claremont Colleges.
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