The effect of parenting styles on substance use and academic achievement among delinquent youth: implications for selective intervention practices
Juvenile delinquency is a complex issue that effects youth, families, and society. Studies have found that parenting styles are a significant contributor to numerous behaviors that influence juvenile delinquency, specifically substance use and poor academic achievement. This literature has been used by to the juvenile justice system to develop family based interventions for delinquent youth in efforts to reduce recidivism. However, previous studies have primarily sampled from the general population, which has limited their usefulness in creating selective interventions for the delinquent population. This thesis offers Baumrind (1966) and Maccoby & Martin's (1983) theory of parenting style typologies as a framework for understanding the effects of parenting style on substance use and academic achievement among delinquent youth. Using juvenile court case files from Maricopa County collected from 2005-2010, (N = 181), logistic regression was performed to test the hypotheses that (1) delinquent youth with Authoritarian, Uninvolved, and Permissive parenting will be more likely to use substances than youth with Authoritative parenting and that (2) delinquent youth with Authoritarian, Uninvolved, and Permissive parenting will be more likely to have poor academic achievement than youth with Authoritative parenting. Using Authoritative parenting as the reference group, it was found that delinquent youth with Permissive and Uninvolved parenting had a higher likelihood of substance use than delinquent youth with Authoritative parenting, and that delinquent youth with Permissive parenting had a higher likelihood of poor academic achievement than youth with Authoritative parenting. These findings have important theoretical implications as well as practical implications for intervention strategies for delinquent youth, which are additionally discussed.