Studies conducted have indicated that, there is an association between parenting styles and delinquency. On this basis, delinquency can be generally defined as the failure of doing what is required by the law or norms in a society. In connection to this, examples of delinquent behaviors include; immorality, cheating, irresponsibility, alcoholism, cheating, stealing, and fighting (aggression). In this relation, researches have shown that harsh parenting styles like discipline practices are associated with worse results such as delinquency and aggression (Craig & Bushman, 2002). It is of importance to note that, the child’s complicated conducts influence parent’s punitive strategies leading to harsher and conflicting punishments and hence less participation of the parent in the child’s socialization. In this relation, this negative child-parent socialization strategy jeopardizes a child to delinquent behaviors that starts at their early teenage and persist far into the adulthood. On the other hand, studies have shown that children of single parents are at a higher risk of delinquent behaviors than those of both parents (Craig & Bushman, 2002).
On the basis of parenting styles, they are of different types which include; authoritative, authoritarian, permissive, and neglecting. From these examples, parenting styles can be defined as patterns of approaches and conducts of parents towards their children which create a situation of parents’ behavior. A point worth noting is that, authoritative behaviors have positive influences on child’s conducts while all the others place a child at a better position for delinquent conducts (Mears & Field, 2002). On this basis, the parents lay down logical rules and guidelines for the children to follow; but they are not inflexible in their discipline bearing in mind that there can be exceptions to the rules. In this relation, parents discuss with their children on the way these rules will be followed and why as well as listening to their feeling about them. In this case, the parents will amend their rules if a logical reason for doing so is given by the children. Since the parents are always in control, children respect them and hence chances of them turning to delinquent behaviors are very minimal (Mears & Field, 2002).
On the other hand, permissive parenting style denotes that a parent too soft to the extent that they spoil they children by giving them whatever they want. It should be noted that, if children are allowed to have whatever they want; they would rob their parents or other people whenever they lack that what they want (Nurco et al, 1999). In this case, these are the children who always have whatever they want even if it is sex; they will have to rape to satisfy their desires. Permissive parents think that children should not be restricted to have whatever they want if it is available; they should have a say in how they are brought up (Nurco et al, 1999).
On the basis of neglecting parenting style, children are abandoned jeopardizing them to delinquent acts like crime and drug abuse. In this case, these children have no one to look after them or give those rules and guidelines to them and hence they engage in wrong crowds unknowingly. Importantly, neglected children do not feel the love of their parents and hence they are socialized with other wrong people who initiate them into delinquent behaviors (Simon, 2004).
It should be noted that, the authoritarian parenting is where the parent is always right and children have to follow the orders; hence no room for exception since the children is either disciplined physically or orally. According to Dr. Baumrind, authoritarian parents use reinforcements to make sure that their children follow their orders (Nurco et al, 1999). Here, children are not given room to develop their individuality since how they talk, act, and dress is controlled by their parents. In this case, these kids engage in delinquent behaviors are they want freedom like other children and hence they engage in wrong crowds (Craig & Bushman, 2002).
A point worth noting is that, negative and positive reinforcements have different results towards a child’s delinquent behaviors. In this case, parents who use negative reinforcements make their children feel punished verbally and hence they feel as if they have no freedom in their home which results to their running away (Mears & Field, 2002). An example of this negative reinforcement is “you foolish good for nothing girl, get those dishes washed NOW!” On the other hand, positive reinforcements make children realize that their parents love and care for them. An example of a positive reinforcement is rewarding children for their good behaviors like giving the most obedience child a gift (Mears & Field, 2002).
Studies have indicated that, there are sex differences as far as delinquency is concerned where males are more involved in delinquent acts than females. In this case, the explanation given for this difference is that; males usually lack inadequate parenting than females. Despite the fact that risk factors are both for males and females, male are commonly exposed to these risks than females (Nurco et al, 1999).