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Patterns of Competence and Adjustment Among Adolescents from Authoritative, Authoritarian, Indulgent, and Neglectful Homes: A Replication in a Sample of Serious Juvenile Offenders

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Abstract:

The correlates of authoritative, authoritarian, indulgent, and neglectful parenting were examined within a sample of 1,355 14- to 18-year-olds adjudicated of serious criminal offenses. The sample is composed primarily of poor, ethnic minority youth living in impoverished urban neighborhoods. As has been found in community samples, juvenile offenders who describe their parents as authoritative are more psychosocially mature, more academically competent, less prone to internalized distress, and less prone to externalizing problems than their peers,whereas those who describe their parents as neglectful are less mature, less competent, and more troubled. Juvenile offenders who characterize their parents as either authoritarian or indulgent typically score somewhere between the two extremes, although those from authoritarian homes are consistently better functioning than those from indulgent homes. These patterns did not vary as a function of adolescents' ethnicity or gender.