Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)


Criminal Justice and Criminology

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Gregory Rocheleau

Committee Members

Larry Miller, Michael Braswell


Studies show that family structure is an important factor in explaining delinquency among adolescents (Price & Kunz, 2003). There is a lack of research, however, pertaining to cohabitation. The main goals of this study are to determine if there are variations in delinquency between cohabitating and other family types, and to examine the extent to which parental social control measures account for the variation in delinquency by family structure. Data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health) are used for the purposes of this study (n = 4,389). While there are no significant differences in violent delinquency between cohabitating families and other family types, results indicate that adolescents from cohabitating families have a greater odds of engaging in nonviolent delinquency compared to those from 2- biological-parent families, although reaching only marginal significance. This difference, however, is explained once parental social control factors are accounted for in the models.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.