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Open AccessArticle

Paternal and Maternal Influence on Delinquency among Early Adolescents in Hong Kong

by Daniel T. L. Shek and Xiaoqin Zhu *,†
Department of Applied Social Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Both authors equally contributed to this work.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(8), 1338;
Received: 20 March 2019 / Revised: 10 April 2019 / Accepted: 10 April 2019 / Published: 14 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Parenting and Offspring Health and Well-Being)
Objective: The aim was to examine the effects of parental behaviors and the parent-child relationship on delinquency levels as well as growth rates among early adolescents, and to explore the cross-sectional and longitudinal influence of fathers and mothers. Method: The study used and analyzed data collected at Waves 1–3 (N = 2669, age 12.56 ± 0.71 years at Wave 1) in a six-year research project. Results: While both parents’ behavioral control significantly predicted a lower initial level of delinquency, only higher behavioral control of fathers predicted a fast increase in delinquency. In contrast, parental psychological control did not serve as significant predictors in the individual growth curve model. Besides, relationships of father-child and mother-child dyads negatively predicted the initial level of delinquency but not the rate of change in adolescent delinquency. When all factors were investigated simultaneously, fathers’ behavioral control and the relationship between mother and child were robust cross-sectional predictors, whereas only the latter was a stable longitudinal predictor of adolescent delinquency. Conclusions: Parenting and the parent-child relationship are predictors of adolescent delinquency. It is necessary to differentiate between: (1) adolescent delinquency level and its change rate over time; (2) different aspects of parent-child dyadic factors; and (3) paternal and maternal factors. View Full-Text
Keywords: junior high school; Chinese students; delinquency; longitudinal; family junior high school; Chinese students; delinquency; longitudinal; family
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Shek, D.T.L.; Zhu, X. Paternal and Maternal Influence on Delinquency among Early Adolescents in Hong Kong. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 1338.

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