Paternal and maternal influence on delinquency among early adolescents in Hong Kong

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43 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: The aim was to examine the effects of parental behaviors and the parent-child relationship on delinquency levels as well as growth rates among early adolescents, and to explore the cross-sectional and longitudinal influence of fathers and mothers. Method: The study used and analyzed data collected at Waves 1–3 (N = 2669, age 12.56 ± 0.71 years at Wave 1) in a six-year research project. Results: While both parents’ behavioral control significantly predicted a lower initial level of delinquency, only higher behavioral control of fathers predicted a fast increase in delinquency. In contrast, parental psychological control did not serve as significant predictors in the individual growth curve model. Besides, relationships of father-child and mother-child dyads negatively predicted the initial level of delinquency but not the rate of change in adolescent delinquency. When all factors were investigated simultaneously, fathers’ behavioral control and the relationship between mother and child were robust cross-sectional predictors, whereas only the latter was a stable longitudinal predictor of adolescent delinquency. Conclusions: Parenting and the parent-child relationship are predictors of adolescent delinquency. It is necessary to differentiate between: (1) adolescent delinquency level and its change rate over time; (2) different aspects of parent-child dyadic factors; and (3) paternal and maternal factors.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1338
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2 Apr 2019


  • Chinese students
  • Delinquency
  • Family
  • Junior high school
  • Longitudinal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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