The family is the most important influence in the lives of children, and is the first line of defense against various types of delinquent behavior. Families have the ability to serve as a protective factor, which research shows can have a very positive effect on the future of the child. Attachment to at least one parent has an immense effect on resilience in youth. Present study examined relationship between different family characteristics, attachment and frequency and severity of delinquent and risky behavior among urban youth. The sample included 1422 urban youth of both gender, aged 13-19.
This study also investigated the role of gender as a moderator in the effect parent-adolescent processes on delinquency. Results show differences in boys’ and girls’ levels of attachment to father but not to mother. Results also show that gender moderates the relationship between both mother-adolescent attachment and del inquency and father-adolescent attach ment and delinquency. Further i nvestigation demonstrated that both relationships were related to a reduced risk for delinquency among males, whereas the relationships were less apparent for girls. Furthermore, there were no gender differences in the effects of various attachments on frequency and severity of risky behaviors (i.e. risky sexual behavior or status offenses).