INTERPERSONAL RELATIONS ORIENTATION OF JUVENILE DELINQUENTS:
DOES IT DIFFER DEPENDING UPON WHETHER YOUTHS ARE OR ARE NOT
In 1973 slightly more than one million youngsters under eighteen were arrested and came before our nation's juvenile courts for a variety of criminal acts excluding traffic offenses. Eight years later, in 1981, the number of juvenile arrests dramatically increased to just over two million cases, which represents 20 percent of all recorded arrests for that year. (p.363)
These statistics highlight the magnitude and the seriousness of the problem of juvenile delinquency. Further, the statistics explain why juvenile delinquency has been the focus of so much of the adolescent psychology literature, namely that the scope of the problem is large and still growing. In general, the literature on juvenile delinquency has focused on:
(1) types of delinquents such as the socialized gang members, the unsocialized psychopathic type and the overinhibited neurotic type (e.g. Quay, 1964, 196);
(2) demographic characteristics of delinquents such as their socioeconomic level (e.g. Achenbach & Edelbrock, 1981);
(3) family and home environment factors associated with delinquents (e.g. Hetherington & Martin, 1979);
(4) school performance and academic achievement of delinquents (e.g. Cantwell, 1978); and
(5) biological factors associated with delinquency (e.g. Dalgard & Kringlen, 1976).
Other research in the area of delinquency has devoted itself to etiological considerations (e.g. Ohlin & Cloward, 1960; Mallick & McCandless, 1966) and therapeutic interventions (e.g. DeJong & Stewart, 1980).
It is the literature on the family and home environment of the juvenile delinquent that is of relevance to the proposed study. In this regard, existing research has shown that the less stable the parent and the more dysfunctional family relationships, the greater the likelihood that children will become delinque...