It can be nearly impossible to narrow down the causes of delinquency in youth as the factors do

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It can be nearly impossible to narrow down the causes of delinquency in youth as the factors do vary from adolescent to adolescent. There has been extensive research into family factors and how they relate to delinquency. Researchers have looked in several theories and models to specific attributes of gender, socioeconomic status, race, and the family structure itself.

Definitions
• Juvenile delinquency: conduct by a juvenile characterized by antisocial behavior that is beyond parental control and therefore subject to legal action; a violation of the law committed by a juvenile and not punishable by death or life imprisonment (Merriam-Webster, 2014).
• Parenting: behavior of the parent that is directed toward the child and therefore
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Theories

Using a theory from 1969 by Travis Hirschi, researchers begin to explore the causes of delinquency using Hirschi’s social control theory which is often referred to as social bonding theory. Hirschi’s theory states youth participate in delinquency because they lack strong affective attachments to their parents and this attachment to family encourages conformity by monitoring behavior and applying regular discipline (Mack, Lieber, Featherstone, & Monserud, 2006).
Applying this theory to family structure has been done by looking at single-parent households and comparing delinquent behavior of adolescents from those families to those of two-parent households. Researchers have repeatedly found that youth from single-parent families are more susceptible to delinquent behavior (Boutwell, & Beaver, 2010; Demuth, & Brown, 2004; Hoeve, Stams, van der Put, Dubas, van der Lann, & Gerris, 2012; Mack et al., 2006; Schroeder, Osgood, & Oghia, 2010). This is due to missing half of the parental unit which makes single parents unable to provide proper control, supervision, and socialization; whereas two-parent households are better equipped to provide guidance and have more opportunities to monitor, supervise, and respond to behaviors of their children (Mack et al., 2006).
Other researchers have taken social control theories and attachment theories and tied them together to hypothesize for the causes of delinquency. Attachment theory

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