Partners or adversaries? The relation between juvenile diversion supervision and parenting practices.

Adam D. Fine, Zachary R. Rowan, Elizabeth Cauffman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: Based on guiding principles such as parens patriae, juvenile probation officers (JPOs) not only supervise youth, but in certain jurisdictions they also decide how control-oriented their conditions will be. JPOs’ perceptions of parenting could be related to their decision making. This study examined: (a) whether JPOs’ perceptions of the home were associated with the conditions they placed on youth; (b) if JPOs’ perceptions of the home aligned with the youths’ perceptions; and (c) if JPOs’ control-oriented conditions were associated with changes in parenting practices. Hypotheses: (H1) JPOs’ perceptions of the home should be positively related to youths’ perceptions of parenting practices. (H2) JPOs’ perceptions of the home should be positively associated with the conditions imposed. (H3) JPOs’ control-oriented conditions may be positively associated with increased parental supervision, yet they may also be associated with lessened parental supervision. Method: The sample consisted of 265 male youth (mean age = 15.41; 76.6% Latino, 19.25% White, 0.75% Black) who were arrested for the first time and placed on supervised diversion. Results: Latent class analyses indicated that there were three supervision conditions classes: standard, moderate, and high control. JPOs’ perceptions of the home did not align with youths’ perceptions of parenting practices (e.g., rule setting, curfew setting, and monitoring) yet they were the strongest predictor of receiving the most control-oriented conditions. Surprisingly, parental rule setting, curfew setting, and monitoring declined once youth were placed under supervision, and declines did not differ based on how control-oriented their official conditions were. Conclusions: Parents are thought to be vital in justice-involved youths’ success. Yet within this sample, officers’ perceptions of the family did not align with youths’ perceptions. Further, parental supervision declined equally regardless of how control-oriented youths’ supervision conditions were. Parents must be better integrated into the process to enhance the success of youth on community supervision. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved) <strong xmlns:lang="en">Public Significance Statement—Youth report that their parental supervision declines once they are placed under official supervision, indicating that families may view probation as supplanting or replacing their responsibilities. Officers and parents must work together to ensure youth are adequately supervised and supported, rather than one authority supplanting the other. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved)

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)461-473
Number of pages13
JournalLaw and human behavior
Volume44
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2020

Keywords

  • community supervision
  • diversion
  • juvenile offenders
  • juvenile probation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology(all)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Law

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