Recent studies of the effect of social bonds on offenders' adjustment to probation have produced mixed results, with some suggestion that successful adjustment is the result of the deterrent effects of probation supervision rather than the stabilizing effects of social bonds. This article reports the results of a study of child molesters entering probation and is thus focused on an offender population that maximizes the physical and social estrangement from society. The article uses measures of employment and of the quality of social relationships with family and friends to test the hypothesis that social bonds will significantly affect successful adjustment to probation supervision. An event history analysis of the data provides rather uniform support for the hypothesis that positive social bonds enhance offenders' positive adjustment to supervision. Employment was found to have a significant effect on the length of time to an unsuccessful probation termination, and support of family and support of friends were found to affect both the time to a revocation petition and the time to an unsuccessful termination. These findings have important implications for offenders' ability to successfully adjust to the problems of community reentry.
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