Poverty, parenting, peers and crime-prone neighbourhoods


It has long been known that officially recorded rates of most forms of crime are higher in economically disadvantaged areas. The conventional view has been that disadvantage increases the motivation to offend but there are a number of findings which are difficult to reconcile with this view. A growing body of research evidence drawn from studies of individual families suggests that economic and social stress exert their effects on crime by disrupting the parenting process. The research reported here confirms this hypothesis for Australian families and points to the importance of increasing family supports and parenting skills as a means of reducing juvenile involvement in crime.