The thesis of this study is that children and adolescents who grow up in intact families are generally less likely to commit acts of delinquency than children and adolescents who grow up in non-intact families, which, for the purposes of this paper, are defined as single-parent families, blended or stepfamilies, and no-parent families. Using both a bivariate regression model and several multiple regression models, the paper sets out to test the hypothesis that family structure has a significant impact on the level of risk of adolescent delinquency even when controlling for other factors that encourage or inhibit delinquent acts. Further, the paper, unlike previous studies tackling this same issue, explores why family structure is important in determining delinquency among adolescents. Namely, it explores the role of "father closeness" both in accounting for the importance of an intact family as an inhibitor of delinquency, and as an important factor inhibiting delinquency in its own right, independent of family structure.
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