Parenting-styles, self-control and male juvenile delinquency

The mediating role of self-control
  • Endy A. W. Den Exter Blokland
  • Rutger C. M. E. Engels
  • Catrin Finkenauer


One of the most important environmental factors in explaining adolescent delinquency is the young offender’s family It is therefore crucial to examine which aspects of parenting predict delinquent behavior in adolescents1. An important study of Feldman and Weinberger2 on the direct link between parenting and adolescent delinquency showed that the most powerful predictors of problem behaviors are parents’ direct rejection, a lack of involvement and support, and a lack of monitoring. On the other hand, delinquency is supposed to be determined by individual characteristics of the adolescents. In their general theory of crime, Gottfredson and Hirschi3 propose that there is only one intra-individual factor that explains delinquency, namely self-control: the ability to control impulses and to delay gratification. The authors stress that delinquent behaviors originate from the people’s desire to immediately satisfy their personal needs not considering the long-term consequences of their behavior3. Therefore people with low levels of self-control are prone to satisfy needs that are prosocial, such as being assertive and open in new relationships, but also to satisfy needs which are more deviant in nature, such as being aggressive or delinquent4.


Parenting Style Psychological Control Authoritarian Parenting Adolescent Delinquency Authoritarian Parenting Style 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Endy A. W. Den Exter Blokland
    • 1
  • Rutger C. M. E. Engels
    • 1
  • Catrin Finkenauer
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Child and Adolescent StudiesUtrecht UniversityUtrechtThe Netherlands

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