Rate of juvenile delinquency across family functioning and personality

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Title:
Rate of juvenile delinquency across family functioning and personality
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xiii, 188 leaves : ; 29 cm.
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Cluxton, John C., 1968-
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Counselor Education thesis, Ph.D   ( lcsh )
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non-fiction   ( marcgt )

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Thesis:
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Florida, 1999.
Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 162-187).
General Note:
Typescript.
General Note:
Vita.
Statement of Responsibility:
by John C. Cluxton.

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University of Florida
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Table of Contents
    Title Page
        Page i
        Page ii
    Dedication
        Page iii
    Acknowledgement
        Page iv
        Page v
    Table of Contents
        Page vi
        Page vii
        Page viii
        Page ix
    List of Tables
        Page x
    List of Figures
        Page xi
    Abstract
        Page xii
        Page xiii
    Chapter 1. Introduction
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    Chapter 2. Review of the literature
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    Chapter 3. Methodology
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    Chapter 4. Results
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    Chapter 5. Discussion
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    Appendix A. Jesness personality inventory
        Page 148
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    Appendix B. Family adaptability and cohesion evaluation scales (FACES-II)
        Page 150
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    Appendix C. Demographic information
        Page 153
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    Appendix D. Linear scoring and interpretation for FACES-II
        Page 155
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    Appendix E. Jesness personality inventory answer sheet
        Page 157
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    Appendix F. Jesness personality inventory profile sheet
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    References
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    Biographical sketch
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Full Text












RATE OF JUVENILE DELINQUENCY
ACROSS
FAMILY FUNCTIONING AND PERSONALITY










By

JOHN C. CLUXTON


A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


1999






























Copyright 1999

By

John C. Cluxton




















This dissertation is dedicated

to all of those throughout my life

who believed and encouraged me to say

"I can."



And



To all of my family and friends

who continue to stand by me

while I strive to have

my moments of

"I did it."














ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

I extend my deepest appreciation to everyone who has stood by me while I've

slowly progressed, like the river that eventually wins over the rock, through to the

completion of this dissertation.

I extend special thanks to Dr. Bob and Mrs. Pat Lee for giving me an opportunity

to work and train with the challenging juvenile delinquent clientele at C.R.E.S.T.

Services Inc. Through their ever present guidance and passion, the Lees helped me to

develop a holistic understanding of the complex delinquent population.

I owe a great debt of gratitude to my colleagues and friends at the University of

Florida Department of Counselor Education and to both the Alachua and the Columbia

County Departments of Juvenile Justice. The collection, scoring and success of this

dissertation would not have been possible without their help.

I feel very fortunate to have been involved in a graduate program which offered

such diverse perspectives. Throughout my graduate education the professors encouraged

me to develop my own views based on coherent theory, clinical experience and solid

research. I also want to thank the wonderful group of professionals on my committee who

encouraged me to follow my own views while offering me the guidance, feedback, and

expertise needed to complete my dissertation. Specifically, I thank Dr. Silvia E. Rafuls

for her clinical supervision of my training and her challenging questions which led to











ways to improve my research; Dr. Robert D. Myrick for his instruction and expertise

working with and understanding the adolescent population; and Dr. M. David Miller for

his statistical guidance and ability to instill within me a sense of confidence in my ability

to accomplish the design and analysis of this dissertation.

I offer a special thanks to Dr. Peter A. D. Sherrard, not only for chairing my

committee, but more importantly, for his overall impact on my professional development.

I will be forever grateful for the many times I experienced Dr. Sherrard's artistry of

teaching. He was able to create for me a sense of genuine support as he helped me to

understand the connections between the little things, while at the same time, challenged

me to develop an understanding of the bigger picture.

Finally, I thank my family and friends who have supported me. Their continuous

encouragement helped fuel my persistence and ultimate ability to complete this

dissertation. I especially thank my wife, Tali, who fought beside me through the

frustrations and sacrifices. She helped to energize me through her challenges to reach

completion. Most importantly, Tali offered her love and her belief that I could indeed

succeed.

Now that I have finished this dissertation, I know the answer to the question,

"How did the turtle win the race?" He did it slowly, with persistent focus, and most

importantly, always with the support of those who believed in him.














TABLE OF CONTENTS
page
A CKN OW LEDGM ENTS ............................................................................................ iv

LIST OF TA BLES ........................................................................................................ x

LIST OF FIGURES ....................................................................................................... xi

ABSTRA CT ................................................................................................................. xii

CHAPTERS

I INTRODUCTION .............................................................................................. 1

Scope of the Problem .......................................................................................... 2
Theoretical Fram work ...................................................................................... 9
Eco-Systemic Model of Human Development........................................ 10
Construct of Personality ......................................................................... 14
Circumplex Model of Marital and Family Systems............................... 18
Rationale for the Study ..................................................................................... 20
Statem ent of the Problem .................................................................................. 21
Need for the Study ............................................................................................ 21
Purpose of the Study ......................................................................................... 24
Research Questions .......................................................................................... 25
Definition of Term s .......................................................................................... 27
Organization of the Study ................................................................................ 31

2 REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE ................................................................. 33

Introduction ..................................................................................................... 33
Personality and Delinquency ............................................................................ 34
Fam ily Functioning and Delinquency .............................................................. 41
Structural Variables .............................................................................. 41
Fam ily Functioning ............................................................................... 43
Circumplex Model of Marital and Family Systems ................................ 45
Adaptability ............................................................................... 49
Cohesion..................................................................................... 50











Eco-System ic M odel of Hum an Developm ent................................................. 53
Relationship Between Family Functioning and Personality ................ 57
Reciprocal Nature of Variables on Development................................. 59
Protective and Risk Factors ................................................................. 61
Goodness of Fit ..................................................................................... 65
Sum m ary ........................................................................................................... 67

3 M ETHODOLOGY .......................................................................................... 68

Statement of Purpose ....................................................................................... 68
Delineation of Relevant Variables ................................................................... 69
Dependent Variable .............................................................................. 69
Independent Variables .......................................................................... 69
Age............................................................................................. 69
Gender ....................................................................................... 70
Race ........................................................................................... 71
Adaptability .............................................................................. 72
Cohesion ................................................................................... 72
Social m aladjustm ent scale (SA) .............................................. 72
M anifest aggression scale (M A) ............................................... 72
Asocial index (AI) ..................................................................... 73
Hypotheses ....................................................................................................... 73
Data Analysis .................................................................................................... 77
Description of the Population ........................................................................... 79
Sam pling Procedures ......................................................................................... 80
Sam ple .............................................................................................................. 81
Data Collection ................................................................................................. 82
Instrum entation ................................................................................................ 83
Jesness Personality Inventory .............................................................. 83
Family Adaptability and Cohesion Evaluation Scales
(FACES II) ........................................................................................ 87
Sum m ary........................................................................................................... 91

4 RESULTS........................................................................................................... 92

Introduction ..................................................................................................... 92
Demographic Characteristics of the Research Sample ..................................... 93
Descriptive Data on Categorical Variables ....................................................... 94
Gender .................................................................................................. 94
Ethnicity ................................................................................................ 95











Descriptive Data on Interval V ariables ............................................................ 96
Age ........................................................................................................ 96
Cohesion Scale ..................................................................................... 96
A daptability Scale ................................................................................ 97
Social M aladjustm ent Scale .................................................................. 98
M anifest Aggression Scale ................................................................... 98
Asocial Index ....................................................................................... 99
Inferential Statistical Analysis Procedures ........................................................ 100
Bivariate Logistic Com prisons .......................................................... 102
M ultinom ial Logistic Regression Results .............................................. 104
Evaluation of Hypotheses ................................................................................. 106
Sum m ary ........................................................................................................... 111

5 DISCUSSION .................................................................................................... 113

Introduction...................................................................................................... 113
Overview of Study ............................................................................................ 113
Evaluation of Hypotheses ................................................................................ 116
Discussion of Results ....................................................................................... 119
Relationship of Age to Rate of Juvenile Delinquency........................... 119
Relationship of Gender to Rate of Juvenile Delinquency..................... 120
Relationship of Race to Rate of Juvenile Delinquency......................... 121
Relationship of Personality and Family Functioning
to Rate of Juvenile Delinquency....................................................... 122
Research question 6 & 7........................................................... 123
Research question 5................................................................. 125
Lim stations of Study....................................................................................... 131
Practical Im plications of the Results.............................................................. 134
Assessm ent......................................................................................... 134
Training and Practice.......................................................................... 135
Social Policy....................................................................................... 136
Recom m endations........................................................................................... 136
Meta Theory of Hierarchical Cybernetic Feedback Loops............................. 140
Chapter Sum m ary........................................................................................... 147



APPENDICES

A JESNESS PERSONALITY INVENTORY ..................................................... 149











B FAMILY ADAPTABILITY AND COHESION EVALUATION SCALES
(FA CES-Il) ..................................................................................................... 151

C DEMOGRAPHIC INFORMATION................................................................ 153

D LINEAR SCORING AND INTERPRETATION FOR FACES-11 .................. 156

E JESNESS PERSONALITY INVENTORY ANSWER SHEET...................... 158

F JESNESS PERSONALITY INVENTORY PROFILE SHEET ....................... 160

REFEREN CES .............................................................................................................. 162

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ......................................................................................... 188














LIST OF TABLES
Table page

1 Frequency Distribution by Gender and Level of Delinquent Offending .......... 94

2 Frequency Distribution by Gender and Ethnicity............................................. 95

3 Descriptive Data on Interval Variables............................................................. 99

4 Bivariate Comparison Results........................................................................... 103

5 Multinomial Logistic Regression Results for Model 1.................................... 104

6 Multinomial Logistic Regression Results for Model 2..................................... 105

7 Statistical Tests of Hypotheses......................................................................... 110

8 Frequency Distribution of Males by Rate of Offending Across
Combinations of Cohesion (C) and Manifest Aggression (MA)................. 128

9 Frequency Distribution of Females by Rate of Offending Across
Combinations of Cohesion (C) and Manifest Aggression (MA)................. 129














LIST OF FIGURES
Figure page

1 Circumplex Model of Marital and Family Systems ........................................ 19

2 Thee-Dimensional Family Circumplex Model............................................... 88

3 Powers (1973) meta theory of hierarchical feedback loops applied
to personality, family functioning, and delinquency..................................... 144














Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy

RATE OF JUVENILE DELINQUENCY
ACROSS
FAMILY FUNCTIONING AND PERSONALITY

By

John C. Cluxton

August 1999

Chairperson: Dr. Peter A. D. Sherrard
Major Department: Counselor Education

This study was guided by a transactional and eco-systemic conceptualization of

delinquency risk and predicted that the level of development of antisocial behaviors is a

function of the interaction among individual and contextual characteristics. While strides

in the literature have been made to substantiate the usefulness of eco-systemic

multivariate models in delinquency research, this study investigated the yet to be full

explored existence of a possible relationship between facets of the adolescent's

personality and perceptions of family functioning across rates of delinquency.

The research was based on a sample consisting of 169 delinquent African-

American and Caucasian adolescents who ranged from 13 to 18 years. The subjects fit

into one of three rates of offending: first time offenders (having only one charge),

multiple offenders (having 2 to 4 charges) and chronic offenders (having 5 or more

xii














charges). Each subject's personality was assessed through the use of the Jesness

Personality Inventory. Each subject's perception of family functioning was assessed

through the use of the Family Adaptability and Cohesion Evaluation Scale (FACES-II).

The data were analyzed using multinomial logistic and bivariate logistic regression

procedures.

The results of the current study provide statistical evidence which supports the

need to include within eco-systemic multivariate models of delinquency rate the variables

of age, gender and the interaction of facets of the adolescent's personality (Manifest

Aggression) and family functioning (Cohesion). These findings support the need for

future research which is guided by eco-systemic multivariate models of delinquency risk

to explore further the complex relationship between theories of personality and family

functioning across rates of juvenile delinquent offending. A meta model which outlines a

theory of hierarchical cybernetic feedback loops was presented to provide insight and

guidance for future research and elucidate the processes at work between the rate of

juvenile delinquency across personality and family functioning.














CHAPTER I
INTRODUCTION

There is an ancient fable out of India reported by Karen Backstein (1992) which

tells of six blind men who encounter an elephant for the first time. Each touches a

different part of the immense animal and each one's description elicits a distinctly

different image of the animal which each believes is an accurate picture of what the

animal is truly like. However, the wise Rajah advises them to combine each of their

perspectives in order to gain a greater understanding of the nature and identity of the

elephant.

The study of juvenile delinquency is currently going through a similar evolution.

Rather than take a singular view (biological, psychological, or sociological) in the

etiology of delinquency, much of the field is pursuing a more holistic eco-systemic view

of self and system development (Bogenschneider, 1996, Bronfenbrenner, 1979;

Henggeler, 1989; Lemer, 1991; Liddle, 1995; Magnusson, 1995; Moffitt, 1993; Salts,

Lindholm, Goddard, & Duncan, 1995; Mulvey, Arthur, Reppucci, 1993; Paris, 1996;

Reid, 1993; Tolan & Loeber, 1993; Yoshikawa, 1994; Worden, 1991). This new

approach to delinquency, proposes that the relationship between an adolescent's

personality and family functioning is likely to influence his/her rate of juvenile

delinquent acts. Presently, little is known about this hypothesized relationship in the

study of juvenile delinquency so this study has theoretical implications regarding the

1








2

importance of personality and family functioning in the promising eco-systemic approach

to delinquency and practical applications in the areas of research, training, practice and

social policy.

The purpose of this study was to determine if there exists a relationship between

personality and family functioning across the rate of delinquency.



Scope-ofthe Problem

The extent and costs of juvenile delinquency compounds the urgency for research

which contributes to the understanding and ultimate efforts to decrease juvenile

delinquency. From 1988 to 1992, juvenile violent crime arrests increased 47% (whereas

adult violent crime arrests increased 19%). Increases in juvenile arrests for specific

offenses were murder (51%), Rape (17%), Robbery (50%), and aggravated assault (49%)

(Snyder, 1994). From 1988 through 1992, the number of delinquent cases disposed by

juvenile courts increased 26%. During the same period, Juvenile Courts disposed 56%

more violent cases, including 55% more homicide and 80% more aggravated assault

cases (Butts. Snyder, & Finnegan, 1994). According to a report by Butts (1994), juvenile

courts in the United States handled almost one and a half million delinquency cases in

1992, a 26% increase over the 1988 cases load. Were this rate to continue, that load

would double approximately every 12 years (rule of 70) (Williams & Rogers, 1996).

Further, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) Uniform Crime Reports

(1994), law enforcement agencies made 2.0 million arrests of juveniles (people below the

age of 18) in 1993. Juveniles were responsible for 17% of all arrests in 1993.










Between 1989 and 1993, the total number of juveniles increased 13% (FBI, 1994).

Juveniles committed 13% of all violent crimes (i.e., homicide, rapes, robberies, and

aggravated assaults) in the United States in 1993 (as measured by crimes that were

cleared by arrests) (FBI, 1994). In 1993, juveniles accounted for 13% of the U.S.

population, were responsible for 9% of all murder clearances in the United States, 14% of

forcible rapes, 17% of robberies, and 13% of all aggravated assaults (FBI, 1994).

The most recent FBI Uniform Crime Reports (1997) on juvenile crime are a bit

more encouraging. The juvenile arrest rates for violent crime dropped 9% from 1995 and

12% from 1994, marking the second year of decline after steady increases the previous

six years. The juvenile arrest rate for robbery dropped 10% between 1995 and 1996,

while the juvenile arrest rate for aggravated assault dropped 9%. The juvenile arrest rate

for burglary in 1996 is 45% lower than 1980, while the arrest rate for motor vehicle theft

is the lowest since 1987 and the rate for arson the lowest since 1992. While there appears

to be a slowing in the rate of juvenile delinquency, we are no where near the low rates of

1950s (Loeber, 1990). Juvenile delinquency continues to exact a high toll on society and

causes great emotional and interpersonal costs to the adolescent and those around them

(Gorman-Smith, Tolan, Zelolli, & Huesmann, 1996; Laub & Sampson, 1994; Cohen,

Miller, & Rossman, 1994).

The costs of delinquency to society in resources and funds are enormous. The

United States spends more than 1 billion dollars a year to maintain our juvenile justice

system (Patterson, DeBaryshe,& Ramsey, 1989). The average cost of incarcerating a

minor has risen from $29,000 in 1992 (Children's Defense Fund, 1992) to $36,000 per








4

year in 1998 (Quinn, 1998). The Rand corporation reported that in the United States, the

expected crime and correction costs for one chronic juvenile offender was $225,000 to

$350,000 over his or her life time, based on 1.5 arrests a year over 13.3 years of crime.

This figure does not include the cost of the damage to other people's property (Shamsie

& Hluchy, 1991). The yearly cost of school vandalism alone is estimated to be one-half

billion dollars (Feldman, Caplinger, & Wodarski, 1981). The chronic offenders (five or

more offenses) alone exact an enormous monetary cost to society in police hours, court

time, failed attempts at rehabilitation and billions of dollars spent to repair the tangible

consequences of such offending (Lynam, 1996). These costs are staggering considering

that chronic offenders may only make up 5-6% of the total delinquent population, yet are

reported to be responsible for 50-60% of known crimes (see, Farrington, Ohlin & Wilson,

1986).

There are many personal costs of delinquency that impact an adolescent when

according to Steinborg (1991), changes are occurring in an adolescent's life faster and

greater than at any other time except infancy. Adolescents are faced with understanding

and accepting their own biological changes, becoming comfortable with their sexuality

(particularly the emergence of sexual preference), choosing their occupational identity

and negotiating their developmental struggle towards autonomy and independence

(Kinney & Leaton, 1983). These complex tasks in development are negatively impacted

by delinquency. For example, Patterson, DeBaryshe, and Ramsey (1989) reported that

antisocial children are likely to experience major adjustment problems in the area of

academic achievement and peer social relations (Kazdin, 1987; Walker, Shinn, O'Neill,










& Ramsey, 1987; Wilson & Hermstein, 1985). Jessor (1991) concluded that high risk

behaviors such as delinquency can jeopardize the accomplishment of normal

developmental tasks, the fulfilment of expected social roles, the acquisition of essential

skills, the achievement of a sense of adequacy and competence, and the appropriate

preparation for transition to the next stage in the life trajectory (i.e., young adulthood).

Perhaps one of the greatest personal costs is the waste of a young person's life, who, after

chronically offending, may never realize his/her potential, but rather spends most of the

time in and out of institutions.

Efforts to study and look for answers to delinquency are complicated when

considering how to distinguish among the types of juvenile delinquents. The historical

approach of comparing delinquent to non-delinquent groups has more recently been

viewed as too gross a distinction due to the shear frequency of delinquent acts during

adolescence (Lau & Leung, 1992; Tolan & Loeber, 1993). It has been reported that 88%

of juveniles confess to committing at least one chargeable offense (Williams & Gold,

1982). In adolescence (age 13-18) more than 50% admit to theft, 35% admit to engaging

in more than one type of antisocial behavior, such as aggression, drug abuse, arson and

vandalism (See Elliot, Ageton, Huizinga, Knowles, & Carter, 1983; Feldman, Caplinger,

& Wodarski, 1983; Moffitt, Silva, Lynam & Henry, 1994; William & Gold, 1982).

Actual rates of delinquent behavior soar so high during adolescence that participation in

delinquent behavior appears to be a normal part of teen life (Elliot, Ageton, Huizinga,

Knowles, & Carter, 1983; Elliot, Huizinga, & Menard, 1989; Moffitt, 1993; Tolan &

Loeber, 1993; Tolan & Guerra, 1992; Tolan & Lorion, 1988).








6

Indeed, numerous rigorous self-report studies have now documented that it is statistically

aberrant to refrain from crime during adolescence (Elliot, Ageton, Huizinga, Knowles, &

Carter, 1983; Hirschi, 1969; Moffitt & Silva, 1988).

Thus, following that involvement in antisocial behavior of some sort is almost

universal among American adolescents and recognizing that differences have been found

between transient (few offenses) and chronic (five or more offenses) involvement in

delinquency (Lorion, Tolan, & Wahlar, 1987; Moffitt & Silva, 1988; Quay, 1987;

Shannon, 1978; Tolan, 1987; Tolan, Lorion, 1988; West & Farrington, 1977) various

levels of involvement should be distinguished when studying the delinquent population

(Tolan & Loeber, 1993; Tolan, Cromwell, & Brasswell, 1986). Adding to the complexity

of studying this population is the finding that most adolescents committing antisocial acts

engage in a large variety of acts termed "Cafeteria-style offending" (Farrington, 1990;

Gottfredson & Hirschi, 1994; Haapasalo & Hamalainen, 1996; Klein, 1984,1989). To

account for these concerns, this study utilized frequency of offending (rate) to distinguish

delinquents within the collected sample population. Frequency is a method of

measurement common in delinquency research and has shown high reliability and

validity (Cox, 1996; Lau & Leung, 1992; Leug & Drasgow, 1986; Lynam, 1996;

Spiuack, Marcus, & Swift, 1986). The following will further explore the complexity of

delinquency and present the guiding theoretical lenses used to understand and investigate

delinquency in the current study.

The high costs and wide spread occurrence of delinquency has spurred many

efforts to discover what factors contribute to the understanding and explanation of the










varying levels in delinquency among the youth. Many of these factors purposed by

criminologists and psychologists alike include: poverty, lack of bonding to societal

institutions, bonding to deviant peer groups, low intelligence, availability of drugs and

guns, genetic predisposition, neurological and biological factors, differences in

personality, family background, family functioning and family risk factors (Binder, Geis,

& Bruce, 1988; Elliot, Huizinga, & Ageton, 1985; Farrington, Loeber, Elliott, Hawkins,

Kandel, Klein, McCord, Rowe, & Tremblay, 1990; Goldstein, 1990; Hirschi, 1969;

Jesness, 1996; Loeber & Stouthamer-Loeber, 1986; Patterson, DeBarshe, & Ramsey,

1989; Walsh & Olson, 1989; Yoshikawa, 1994).

More recent views in the field of juvenile delinquent study support the notion that

delinquency is a result of many complex interacting factors, thus having no single factor

explaining its occurrence (Benda, 1987; Bogenschneider, 1996; Calabrese & Adams,

1990; Marsh, Clement, Stoughton, & Marckioni, 1986; Jesness, 1996; Salts, Lindholm,

Goddard, & Duncan, 1995; Tolan & Loeber, 1993; Tolan, Cromwell, & Brasswell, 1986;

Worden, 1991). Consistent with this view and providing the theoretical bases for this

study, was the theoretical works of Bronfenbrenner (1979).

Bronfenbrenner's (1979) holistic eco-systemic view of self and system

development has gained wide support in the literature as a theoretical model providing a

viable frame that can explain the need for a multivariate approach in the understanding,

treatment, and prevention of juvenile delinquency (Bogenschneider, 1996, Henggeler,

1989, Liddle, 1995; Moffitt, 1993; Salts, Lindholm, Goddard, & Duncan, 1995; Paris,

1996; Reid, 1993; Tolan & Loeber, 1993; Yoshikawa, 1994; Worden, 1991).










Bronfenbrenner's (1988) theory has at its foundation the premise that human

development occurs as a joint function between the characteristics of the person and the

environment.

The empirical literature strongly supports Bronfenbrenner's view of behavior in

which criminal behavior is multidetermined by the reciprocal interplay of characteristics

of the individual youth and the key social systems in which the youths are embedded (i.e.,

family, peer, school, neighborhood, etc.) (Elliot, 1994; Hawkins, & Catalano, 1993;

Henggeler, 1989, 1996; Thornberry, Huizinga, & Loeber, 1995; Tolan, Guerra, 1994).

Considered most influential on human development are the proximal environmental and

organismic influences (Bronfenbrenner, 1988). Proximal influences emanate either from

within the person, or from physical features, objects, and persons in the immediate face to

face setting (Bronfenbrenner, 1988). Two proximal influences which have been supported

in the literature to be related to delinquency and were the focus of the current study of

adolescent rate of delinquent offending were the adolescent's personality and the

adolescent's perception of their family functioning.

Personality factors have for a long time occupied an important role and been

linked in research to antisocial and delinquent behavior (Dembo, La Voie, Schmeider, &

Washburn, 1987; Farrington, 1990; Fonseca & Yule, 1995; Gold, 1978; Heaven, 1996;

Hoge, Andrews, Lesheid, 1994; Jesness, 1996; Roderts, Schmitz, Pinto, & Cain, 1990;

Rutter & Rutter, 1993; Salts, Lindholm, Goddard, & Duncan, 1995; Paris, 1996; Tolan &

Loeber, 1993; Quay, 1987). Family factors have also consistently been strongly related to

delinquency in studies and reviews of antisocial and delinquent behavior (Chamberlain &










Rosicky, 1995; Hazelrigg, Cooper, & Borduin, 1987; Lauritsen, 1993; Loeber & Hay,

1994; ;Henggeler, 1989; Loeber & Dishion, 1983; Tolan, Cromwell, & Brasswell, 1986;

Wasserman, Miller, Pinner, & Jaramillo, 1996; Loeber & Stouthamer-Loeber, 1986;

Snyder & Patterson, 1987; Tolan & Loeber, 1993).

Based on Bronfenbrenner's (1979) model, an expected relationship was expected

to exist between an adolescent's personality and their perception of family functioning

across their rate of delinquent offending. Bronfenbrenner's (1979) holistic eco-systemic

model provided the theoretical frame to validate the growing consensus within the field

of delinquency research for the need to explore the existence of a possible relationship

between personality and family functioning across rate of delinquent offending

(Arbuthnot, Gordon, & Jurkovic, 1987; Cox, 1996; Jesness, 1996; Jessor, 1991; Le

Blanc, 1992; Lorion, Tolan, & Wahlar, 1987; Quay, 1987; Sameroff & Chandler, 1975;

Shaw & Scott, 1991; Tolan, Cromwell, & Brasswell, 1986). Thus, the purpose of this

study was to determine if there exists a relationship between personality and family

functioning across the rate of delinquency. This study addressed this recognized gap in

the understanding of delinquency and provides information which has theoretical and

practical implications for the understanding and future work with the complex and costly

problem of Juvenile delinquency.



TheoreticalEramework

Bronfenbrenner's holistic eco-systemic model of human development has been

embraced by many in delinquency research due to the growing trend to utilize










multivariate models to explore the etiology, treatment and prevention of delinquency

(Tolan & Loeber, 1993). In agreement with the multivarite approach, this study also

utilized Bronfenbrenner's (1979) model of human development to provide the theoretical

grounds to investigate the existence of a relationship between the proximal characteristics

of the person (i.e., personality) and the environment (i.e., family functioning) on the

directions of human social development as seen through the adolescent's rate of

delinquent offending. The following will be a presentation of Bronfenbrenner's eco-

systemic model (1979), followed by Jesness's (1996) construct of personality and Olson,

Russell and Sprenkle's (1983) Circumplex Model of Marital and Family Systems.

Eco- Systemic Model of Human Development

Bronfenbrenner, (1995) offered the following two propositions as defining

properties to his ecological systems theory:

Proposition 1: Especially in its early phases, and to a great extent

throughout the life course, human development takes place through

processes of progressively more complex reciprocal interaction between

an active, evolving biopsychological human organism and the persons,

objects, and symbols in its immediate environment. To be effective, the

interaction must occur on a regular basis over extended periods of time.

Such enduring forms of interaction in the immediate environment are

referred to as proximal processes. Examples of enduring patterns of

proximal processes are found in parent-child and child-child activities,










groups or solitary play, reading, learning new skills, studying, athletic

activities, and performing complex tasks (Bronfenbrenner, 1995, p. 620).

Proposition 2: The form, power, content, and direction of the

proximal processes effecting development vary systematically as a joint

function of the biopsychological characteristics of the developing person;

of the environment, both immediate and more remote, in which the

processes are taking place; and the nature of the developmental outcomes

under consideration (Bronfenbrenner, 1995, p. 620).



According to Bronfenbrenner (1979), children are shaped not only by their

personal attributes, but also by the ever-widening environments in which they develop.

Children are influenced first and foremost by their family, but also by their peers, school

and communities (Bogenschneider, 1996). From the ecological perspective the

environmental influence is not limited to a single immediate setting, but is extended to

incorporate interconnections between such settings, as well as, the external influences

emanating from the larger surroundings. Thus, the ecological environment is conceived

by Bronfenbrenner (1979) in a topologically nested arrangement of concentric structures

with each containing the next. The structures are referred to as micro-, meso-, exo-, and

macrosystems. This study focused on the microsystem, therefore more emphasis will be

placed on its explanation.

The microsystem refers to a pattern of activities, roles, and interpersonal relations

experienced by the developing person in a given setting with particular physical and










material characteristics (Bronfenbrenner, 1979). Thus, it involves the structures and

processes taking place in an immediate face to face setting containing the developing

person (e.g., family, school, peer group, workplace, etc.). Contained within the

microsystem are the more powerful proximal influences such as personality and family

functioning. Of critical importance to Bronfenbrenner (1979) is not only the objective

properties of the environment, but also the way in which these properties are perceived by

the persons in the environment. Put simply, the aspects that are seen as most powerful in

shaping psychological growth are those that have meaning to the person in a given

situation. For this reason, the current study was most concerned with the perceptions of

the adolescent when assessing personality and family functioning.

The three remaining progressively more comprehensive levels include the meso-,

exo-, and macrosystem. The mesosystem comprises the linkages and processes taking

place between two or more settings containing the developing person. The exosystem

comprises the linkages and processes taking place between two or more settings, at least

one of which does not contain the development person, but in which events occur that

indirectly influence processes within the immediate setting in which the developing

person lives. And finally, the Macrosystem consists of the overarching pattern of micro-,

meso-, and exosystems characteristic of a given culture or subculture, with particular

reference to the belief system, bodies of knowledge, material resources, customs, life-

styles, opportunity structures, hazards, and life course options that are embedded in each

of these broader systems (Bronfenbrenner, 1994).










Further, two recent additions include the chronosystems (changes or consistencies over

time) and the inclusion of the genetic inheritance in the ecological perspective

(reconceptualization of the role of genetics in human development) (see Bronfenbrenner,

1994).

A basic tenet of the ecological perspective is the implied fit between the

characteristics of a living organism and its surroundings (Bronfrenbrenner, 1988). Thus,

for example, according to Worden (1991) the person brings a unique mixture of

temperament, personality, intelligence, and developmental history to a given context

which, in turn, possesses its own requirements: Intrapersonal dynamics interact with

interpersonal forces. The "goodness of fit" between these two is then the soil of adaptive

or maladaptive psychological and social functioning (Rutter & Rutter, 1993; Thomas &

Chess, 1977; 1980; Lemrner, 1982). Thus, optimal development does not directly derive

from either the nature of the child's characteristics per se or the demands of the contexts

within which the child functions. Instead, if a child's characteristics match (or fit) the

demands of a particular setting, adaptive outcomes will accrue (Worden, 1991). In

contrast, disturbed behavioral functioning is manifested in a "poor fit" between

environment expectations and demands and the capacities of the child at a particular Ie\ cl

of development (Thomas & Chess, 1980).

In closing, Bronfenbrenner's (1979) eco-systemic view of development not only

recognizes characteristics of the person and the environment as critical to development,

but holds that an interaction between the two is the general focus of eco-systemic based

research. Interactional studies in delinquency are in the minority resulting in far more








14

known about main effects than interactional effects (Farrington, 1995; Hoge, Andrews, &

Leshied, 1994; Tolan, 1987). According to Bronfenbrenner (1979), the interactional

emphasis of the eco-systemic approach is due to the theoretical view that there exists a

reciprocal nature of development. Development is seen as a two way street that entails

changes: environmental demands change, behavior changes, attitudes change, and self-

perceptions change. The "goodness of fit" fluctuates as environmental expectations and

demands change or as the person's expectations and self-perceptions change; change in

one effects changes in the other (Worden, 1991). As already mentioned, while it is

important to consider both the environmental influences and the child's influences,

Bronfenbenner (1979) highlights that when considering the environmental influences,

what matters for behavior and development is the environment as it is "perceived" rather

than as it may exist in "objective" reality. Thus, ultimately, development is defined as the

person's evolving conception of the ecological environment, and his/her relation to it, as

well as the person's growing capacity to discover, sustain, or alter its properties

(Bronfenbrenner, 1979).

Construct of Personality

The construct of personality in this study was grounded in Jesness's (1996)

Jesness Personality Inventory. Jesness (1996) sites the early influences of Marguarite

(Grant) Warren and her sentinel work on I-level theory of personality (Sullivan, Grant, &

Grant, 1957) as playing a major role in the foundations of the Jesness Personality

Inventory Classification system and his articulation of personality characteristics defining

the construct of personality.








15

The following will review this study's adopted core structure of personality, the defining

elements of Jesness's construct of personality, and will close with a discussion of which

facets of the Jesness Personality Inventory were utilized in the present study.

The core structure of personality as presented by Sullivan, Grant, and Grant

(1957), has as a basic premise that human organisms tend to break experience into its

fundamental elements to provide reference points in adjusting to the complex stimulus

structure of the external world. According to Sullivan et al. (1957), these reference points

are not isolated from one another, but are merged in a basic, central reference scheme or

cognitive world, in which the experienced world of the person is integrated with, and

modified by, personal needs and expectations. The nature and quality of perception and

experience impact the developmental expectations and hypotheses about reference points

and so determine behavioral consequences of experience.

According to Jesness and Wedge (1984), the individual's perception of his or her

world is theorized to be constantly shaped by unique and ever-changing personal

cognitive lens. Consequently, these expectations and hypotheses influence all the

individual's interpretations of and responses to the environment. Thus, it is believed that

over time a fairly consistent set of expectations and attitudes is established to form the

interpreting and working philosophy of life. It is this nexus of gradually expanding

experience, expectations, hypotheses, and perceptions which make up the core of

personality (Sullivan et al, 1957).

Jesness adds to the work of Sullivan, Grant, and Grant (1957) by providing ten

personality characteristics and an index of delinquency (A-Social Index). These








16

personality characteristics make up the construct of personality and are measured by the

Jesness Personality Inventory. Jesness (1996) views the delinquent population as a

heterogeneous group which can be distinguished not only by the number of offenses, but

by their personality profile. The personality profile as measured by the Jesness

Personality Inventory consists of the following personality dimensions (Jesness, 1996, p.

5):

Social Maladjustment Scale (SM): Social maladjustment refers to a set of attitudes

associated with inadequate or disturbed socialization. Here, social maladjustment

is defined by the extent to which individuals share attitudes of persons who do not

meet personal needs and environmental demands in socially approved ways.

Value Oriented Scale (VO): Value orientation refers to a tendency to share attitudes and

opinions characteristic of a person in the lower socioeconomic classes.

Immaturity Scale (Imm): Immaturity reflects a tendency to display attitudes and

perceptions of self and others that are usual for a person of a younger age than the

subject.

Autism Scale (Au): Autism measures a tendency to distort reality, and in thinking and in

perceiving, according to one's personal desires or needs.

Alienation Scale (AI): Alienation refers to the presence of distrust and estrangement in a

person's attitudes towards others, especially towards those representing authority.

Manifest Aggression Scale (MA): Manifest aggression reflect an awareness of unpleasant

feelings (especially anger and frustration), a tendency to react readily with those

feelings, and discomfort concerning the presence and control of those feelings.










Withdrawal-Depression Scale (Wd): Withdrawal-depression indicates the extent of an

individual's dissatisfaction with him-or herself and others, in a tendency towards

isolation.

Social Anxiety Scale (SA): Social anxiety refers to feelings of anxiety and to conscious

emotional discomfort in interpersonal relations.

Repression Scale (Rep): Repression reflects the exclusion from conscious awareness of

feelings that the individual normally would be expected to experience, or a failure

to label these emotions.

Denial Scale (Den): Denial indicates a reluctance to acknowledge unpleasant events or

conditions encountered in daily living.

Asocial Index (AI): The asocial index reflects a generalized disposition to resolve social

or personal problems in ways that show a disregard for social customs or rules.



The current study focused on the SM, MA, and AI Jesness personality scales.

These three have consistently been found to distinguish among levels of delinquency

(Dembo, La Voie, Schmeidler, & Washburn, 1987; Graham, 1981; Kunce & Hemphill,

1983; Martin, 1981; Martin & Murphy, 1993; Sorensen & Johnson, 1996). Though the AI

is a personality profile composite score of all 10 personality characteristics reflecting the

generalized tendency to behave in ways that transgress established rules, the SM and MA

have been found to stand out in their own right as important personality characteristics to

consider in distinguishing among the delinquent population (Jesness, 1996).










CircumplexiModeoLfMadtaLand Eamily Systems

The construct of family functioning is grounded in Olson, Russell and Sprenkle's

(1983) Circumplex Model of Marital and Family Systems as tested by the FACES-II. The

Circumplex Model of Marital and Family Systems consists of three central dimensions of

family behavior which are integrated in the model: adaptability, cohesion, and

communication (Thomas and Olson, 1993). The following will be a review of the

Circumplex Model which was utilized in the current study.

The two primary dimensions of family interaction in this model are adaptability

and cohesion (Olson, Mccubbin, Barnes, Larson, Muxen, & Wibson, 1985). Family

adaptability is defined as "the ability of a marital or family system to change its power

structure, role relationships, and relationship rules in response to situational and

developmental stress" (Olson, Russell, & Sprenkle, 1983, p. 70). There are four levels of

adaptability ranging from extremely low (rigid), to moderate (structured, flexible), to

extremely high (chaotic). Family cohesion is defined as "the emotional bonding that

family members have towards one another" (Olson et al., 1983, p.70). Within the

Circumplex Model there are four levels of cohesion ranging from extremely low

(disengaged), to moderate (separated, connected), to extremely high (enmeshed).

The two dimensions of cohesion and adaptability with their four levels are

arranged orthogonally to form the Circumplex Model. Thus, the Circumplex Model

yields 16 possible combinations of cohesion and adaptability. The four types in the center

of the model are called Balanced types because they represent a balance between the

extremes of the cohesion and adaptability continue. The eight Mid-Ranged family types










19


are Extreme on one dimension and Balanced on the other. Then finally, there are the four


Extreme types. These are families who are existing at either extreme of the cohesion and


the adaptability continue at the same time.


The third dimension of The Circumplex Model is family communication. Family


communication is seen as critical in facilitating movement along the two dimensions of


adaptability and cohesion (Olson et. al., 1979). It is hypothesized that families who are


typed in the Balanced area of the Circumplex Model have better communication skills


than families in the Extreme types (Walsh, 1993).


Low COHESION High I N

DISENGAGED SEPARATED CONNECTED ENMESHED


CHAOTICALLY Clq G I-%L





V LXBE / FLEXIBLE / FLEXIBLY FLEXIBLY \ FEIL
CHAOICXIB CHOTCL LY CHAOTCALL
T DISENGAGED CHENMESHED
High

A
D
A
P FLEXIBLE FLEXIBLE FLEXIBLY FLEXIBLY FLEXIBLY
DISENGAGED SEPARATE CONNECTED ENMESHED
A
B

L
I STRUCTURALLY STRUCTURALLY STRUCTURALLY
T STRUCTURED DISENGAGED SEPARATE CONNECTED STRUCTURALLY
Y

Low


S RIGID t SEPARATED CONNECTED IGIDLY
T K11U ultNC~t~u ,,-^^^^^f^ ^, ENMESHED



BALANCED MID-RANGE EXTREME


Figure _1 Circumplex Model of Marital and Family Systems










The Circumplex Model assumes there is a curvilinear relationship between the

two central dimensions (cohesion and adaptability) and family functioning. Those

families who exist in the mid ranges of cohesion and adaptability (Balanced) are

hypothesized to be most viable for healthy family functioning and development (Olson,

1989). These balanced families have moderate cohesion (separated, connected)

representing a balance between too little closeness (disengaged) and too much closeness

(enmeshed) in the family. Similarly, balanced families also have moderate adaptability

(structured, flexible) representing a balance between too little change (rigid) and too

much change (chaotic) in the family. Families found to range in the extremes of cohesion

and adaptability are generally seen as most dysfunctional and problematic in terms of

family functioning and development (Olson, Sprenkle, & Russuel, 1979).



Rationalefor the -Study

This study was theoretically grounded in an eco-systemic theory of self and

system development. Bronfenbrenner's (1979) Social Ecological model of human

development provided the fundamental theoretical justification for investigating if a

relationship between personality (i.e., characteristics of the self) and family functioning1

(i.e., environmental characteristics of the system), existed across levels of delinquent

offending (i.e., social development). The construct of personality was grounded in

Jesness's (1996) Jesness Personality Inventory which identified ten personality

characteristics and an index of delinquency (Asocial Index). The construct of family

functioning was grounded in Olson, Russell and Sprenkle's (1983) Circumplex Model of








21

Marital and Family Systems as tested by the FACES-11. Thus, this study was guided by a

transactional and multilevel conceptualization of delinquency risk and presumed that the

development of antisocial behaviors was dependent on the interaction of individual and

contextual characteristics (Bronfenbrenner, 1979).



Statement-oftheJProblem

The relationship between family functioning (cohesion and adaptability) as seen

through the lens of the family Circumplex model (Olson et. al., 1983) and personality

(social maladjustment, manifest aggression, and asocial index) as grounded in the Jesness

personality inventory (Jesness, 1996) across rates of delinquency was unknown. The

following will address the need for the study.



Needfor theStudy

As established above, the wide extent and high costs of juvenile offending

compounds the urgency for research which contributes to the understanding and ultimate

efforts to decrease juvenile delinquency. Research efforts which attempt to further the

field of study in juvenile delinquency are considered an excellent investment in the future

of our nation that can be postponed only at great cost to society (Bogenschneider, 1996;

Committee on Economic Development, Research and Policy, 1987). A theoretically

supported question (Bronfenbrenner, 1979) and recognized gap in the field of juvenile

delinquent study (Arbuthnot, Gordon, & Jurkovic 1987; Cox, 1996; Jesness, 1996;

Jessor, 1991; Le Blanc, 1992; Lorion, Tolan, & Wahlar, 1987; Quay, 1987; Sameroff &








22

Chandler, 1975; Shaw & Scott, 1991; Tolan, Cromwell, & Brasswell, 1986) of which this

study addressed was, "Does a relationship exist between an adolescent's personality and

his/her perception of family functioning across his/her rate of delinquent offending while

holding age, race and gender constant?"

It was the position of this researcher that if it were known whether this

hypothesized relationship existed, there would be implications for theory, research,

training, practice and social policy. Such knowledge would encourage critical appraisal of

existing theoretical approaches to juvenile delinquency. If no relationship was found, then

attention could be paid to expanding the understanding of juvenile delinquency from the

theoretical perspectives of personality and family functioning in isolation of each other.

Further, no relationship found could be interpreted to challenge the theoretical

underpinnings of Bronfenbrenner's (1979) model in regards to juvenile delinquency. If a

relationship was found, then further attention could be given to the critical examination of

the role of personality and family functioning taken together. This would be consistent

with Bronfenbrenner's (1979) Social Ecological model of human development when

exploring juvenile delinquency.

This knowledge also could facilitate further research into what is considered

critical regions of assessment in juvenile delinquents. For example, the importance of

careful and accurate assessment which contributes to juvenile justice correctional

decisions (Andrews, Bonta, and Hoge, 1990; Hoge, Andrews, and Leschied, 1995; Jaffe,

Leschied, Sab, and Austin, 1985), the ability to target those juveniles who are most in

need of limited treatment resources (Farrington, 1995) as well as the areas to be addressed










in a treatment strategy dealing with a juvenile delinquent client (Henggeler, 1989;

Loeber, 1990; Mulvey, Arthur, Reppucci, 1993; Tolan and Mitchell, 1989) could all be

influenced by the findings of this study. If no relationship was found, researching the

significance of assessing personality and family functioning independently regarding the

above examples could be pursued. If a relationship was found, further efforts could be

made to explore the interaction of personality and family functions when assessing for the

above examples. Further, finding a relationship would contribute to the need for research

efforts to go beyond the cross-sectional study design, as was the case in this study, to a

longitudinal design. This would allow an exploration into what intervals of time one

should reassess the relationship between the adolescent's personality and family

functioning when addressing the above examples.

The findings of this study could be seen to have implications for counselors in

training and in practice when applied to the counseling needs of juvenile delinquents. If

no relationship was found, less importance may have been placed in gaining

understanding of the relationship between theories of personality and family functioning

when considering treatment approaches for the delinquent population. If a relationship

was found, greater importance would need to be placed on adopting a more holistic eco-

systemic stance including personality and family functioning when considering

approaches to counseling and understanding the juvenile population.

Finally, social policy could be influenced by the findings of this study. According

to Garbarino (1993), when we are talking about social policy we are talking about what

we think is simultaneously desirable and attainable: A statement of will, a statement of










goals, and the social maps that we see giving us the route to attain these goals. Social

policy informs clinical practice and it indirectly sets the agenda for clinical practice.

Social policy offers a definition of what the issues are, and it shapes the means available

to address these issues (Garbarino, 1993). The design of social policy is greatly

influenced by fundamental assumptions or conclusions about the nature of both social

problems and adolescents. If no relationship was found, grounds to influence the social

policies to fund research and programs which have little concern for the interaction of

personality and family functioning when dealing with the juvenile delinquent population

would be established. If a relationship was found, not only would grounds for funding

research and programs which take into consideration the relationship of personality and

family functioning strengthen, but also policies instructing state juvenile justice

assessment approaches may be influenced to consider the adolescent's personality and

family functioning as well.



Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study was to further efforts in the determination of the

existence of a relationship between personality and family functioning across the rate of

delinquency. The findings contribute to addressing the recognized gap in the

understanding of delinquency and provide information which has theoretical and practical

implications for the understanding and future work with the complex and costly problem

of Juvenile delinquency.










Research Questions

The independent variables that were included in the collection of original research

questions (as listed below) were: age, gender, race, adaptability, cohesion, social

maladjustment, manifest aggression, and asocial index. The dependent variable referred

to in these research questions was the rate of juvenile delinquency as measured by

number of criminal charges. The primary research question addressed in the current study

was, "Does a relationship exist between an adolescent's personality and his/her

perception of family functioning across his/her rate of delinquent offending while holding

age, race and gender constant?" Each listed research question below that pertained to an

interaction between personality and family functioning was developed to provide the

inferences needed in their own right to address the primary research question. The

research questions including interactions were questions 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9. The

remaining questions were developed to address age (question 1), gender (question 2),

and race (question 3).

However, due to multi-colinearity concerns, of the research questions listed

below, 4, 8, and 9 were unable to be addressed. Nevertheless, sufficient inferences needed

to address the primary research question was gained through addressing the remaining

research questions (5, 6, and 7). All of the corresponding tested hypotheses with their

required modifications due to multi-colinearity concerns are presented in chapter 3. The

primary changes revolved around limiting the number of variables that were controlled

for. The following is a list of the research questions that were originally purposed to be

addressed in this study.










1. What is the relationship between age and rate of juvenile delinquency as

measured by number of criminal charges while holding gender, race, adaptability,

cohesion, social maladjustment, manifest aggression, and asocial index constant?

2. What is the relationship between gender and rate of juvenile delinquency as

measured by number of criminal charges while holding age, race, adaptability, cohesion,

social maladjustment, manifest aggression, and asocial index constant?

3. What is the relationship between race and rate of juvenile delinquency as

measured by number of criminal charges while holding age, gender, adaptability,

cohesion, social maladjustment, manifest aggression, and asocial index constant?

4. What is the relationship between family cohesion as measured by FACES-Il

and rate of juvenile delinquency as measured by number of criminal charges as one varies

across scores of social maladjustment as measured by Jesness personality inventory while

holding age, gender, race, adaptability, manifest aggression, and asocial index constant?

5. What is the relationship between family cohesion as measured by FACES-11

and rate of juvenile delinquency as measured by number of criminal charges as one varies

across scores of manifest aggression as measured by Jesness personality inventory while

holding age, gender, race, adaptability, social maladjustment, and asocial index constant?

6. What is the relationship between family cohesion as measured by FACES-II

and rate of juvenile delinquency as measured by number of criminal charges as one varies

across scores of asocial index as measured by Jesness personality inventory while holding

age, gender, race, adaptability, social maladjustment, and manifest aggression constant?








27

7. What is the relationship between family adaptability as measured by FACES-11

and rate of juvenile delinquency as measured by number of criminal charges as one varies

across scores of social maladjustment as measured by Jesness personality inventory while

holding age, gender, race, cohesion, manifest aggression, and asocial index constant?

8. What is the relationship between family adaptability as measured by FACES-II

and rate of juvenile delinquency as measured by number of criminal charges as one varies

across scores of manifest aggression as measured by Jesness personality inventory while

holding age, gender, race, cohesion, social maladjustment, and asocial index constant?

9. What is the relationship between family adaptability as measured by FACES-11

and rate of juvenile delinquency as measured by number of criminal charges as one varies

across scores of asocial index as measured by Jesness personality inventory while holding

age, gender, race, cohesion, social maladjustment, and manifest aggression, constant?



Definition-ofTerms

For the purposes of this study, the terms listed below were defined as follows:

Adolescence refers to the period of life between childhood and adulthood, and for

the purposes of this study referred to those individuals who ranged in age from 13 to 18.

Asocial Index (AI): The asocial index reflects a generalized disposition to resolve

social or personal problems in ways that show a disregard for social customs or rules

(Jesness, 1996, p. 6). Discriminate Functional Analysis was used to create this scale

which combines scores from all the other personality scales to best distinguish








28

delinquents (Jesness, 1996). For the purposes of this study AI was determined through the

use of the Jesness Personality Inventory.

Balanced familyAtypes are those families who exist in the mid ranges of cohesion

and adaptability. These families are hypothesized to be most viable for healthy family

functioning and development (Olson, 1989).

Delinquency, is defined as behavior that has caused or could cause adjudication of

a person no older than 18 (Tolan, Cromwell, & Brasswell, 1986).

Delinquent adolescents, for the purposes of this study were adolescents between

the ages of 12 and 19 years old who had been charged with a minimum of one illegal

offense as filed with the Department of Juvenile Justice.

Development, as defined through the lens of eco-systemic theory is seen as the

person's evolving conception of the ecological environment, and his/her relation to it, as

well as the person's growing capacity to discover, sustain, or alter its properties

(Bronfenbrenner, 1979). Fundamental to this view is the belief that development results

as a function of characteristics of the individual and his/her environment

(Bronfenbrenner, 1988). For the purposes of this study, increased levels of delinquent

offending suggested the presence of less healthy social development.

Eco-systemictheory purports that children are shaped not only by their personal

attributes, but also by the ever-widening environments in which they develop

(Bronfenbrenner, 1979). Children are influenced first and foremost by their family, but

also by their peers, school and communities (Bogenschneider, 1996). From the ecological

perspective the environmental influence is not limited to a single, immediate setting, but








29

is extended to incorporate interconnections between such settings, as well as the external

influences emanating from the larger surroundings. Thus, as Bronfenbrenner (1979)

noted, research that investigates the adolescent's transactions within different systems

greatly facilitates our understanding of the etiology of deviant behavior.

Extreme family types are those families found to range in the extremes of

cohesion and adaptability. These families are generally seen as most dysfunctional and

problematic in terms of family functioning and development (Olson, Sprenkle, &

Russuel, 1979).

FamilyAdaptability is defined as the extent to which the family system is flexible

and able to change its power structure, role relationships, and relationship rules in

response to situational and developmental stress (Olson et al., 1985). For the purposes of

this study, adaptability was determined by the adaptability score from FACES-II.

Eamily-Cohesion is defined as "the emotional bonding that family members have

towards one another" (Olson et al., 1983, p.70). Cohesion incorporates concepts of

emotional bonding, boundaries, coalitions, time, space, friends, decision making,

interests, and reaction (Olson et al., 1985). For the purposes of this study, cohesion was

determined by the cohesion score from FACES-II.

Familyfunctioning for the purposes of this study was grounded in Olson, Russell

and Sprenkle's (1983) Circumplex Model of Marital and Family Systems as tested by the

FACES-Il. The level of family functioning varies from healthy to less healthy as families

move form balanced family types to extreme family types respectively.











Family cohesion and adaptability are the core factors making up the construct of family

functioning (Olson et. al, 1985).

Manifestaggression_(MA): Manifest aggression reflects an awareness of

unpleasant feelings (especially anger and frustration), a tendency to react readily with

those feelings, and discomfort concerning the presence and control of those feelings

(Jesness, 1996, p. 5). For the purposes of this study MA was determined by the score on

the MA scale of the Jesness Personality Inventory.

The microsystem refers to a pattern of activities, roles, and interpersonal relations

experienced by the developing person in a given setting with particular physical and

material characteristics (Bronfenbrenner, 1979). Thus, it involves the structures and

processes taking place in an immediate face to face setting containing the developing

person (e.g., family, school, peer group, workplace, etc.).

Personality for the purposes of this study was grounded in Jesness's (1996)

Jesness Personality Inventory. Central to defining the construct of personality in the

current study was the asocial index. Further, the personality characteristics of social

maladjustment and manifest aggression were included as relevant personality

characteristics influencing the development of delinquency (Jesness, 1996).

The proximal influences which are contained within the microsystem and were

relevant to the current study included personality and family functioning. These two

influences interact to form proximal processes which are viewed to directly effect the

course of an individual's development (Bronfenbrenner, 1995).










Social Maladjustment (SM): Social maladjustment refers to a set of attitudes

associated with inadequate or disturbed socialization. Here, social maladjustment is

defined by the extent to which individuals share attitudes of persons who do not meet

personal needs and environmental demands in socially approved ways (Jesness, 1996, p.

5). For the purposes of this study SM was determined by the score on the SM scale of the

Jesness Personality Inventory.

Rate of juvenile delinquency for the purposes of this study, was comprised of the

total current number of illegal charges with which an adolescent has accrued over their

life time as filed within the juvenile court system at the time of data collection. The rate

was then delineated by categories of frequency of offending which included: first time

offenders (having only one charge), multiple offenders (having 2 to 4 charges) and

chronic offenders (having 5 or more charges) (Tracy, Wolfgang, & Figlio, 1990;

Wolfgang, Figlio, & Sellin, 1972).



OrganizatioaofiLthe-Study

The remainder of this study is organized into four chapters. Chapter 2 will present

a review of the related literature. Chapter 3 will describe the purpose and methodology

containing a statement of purpose, including delineation of relevant variables,

hypotheses, data analysis, description of the population, sampling procedures, sample,

data collection, and instrumentation. The results of the statistical analysis will be reported

in chapter 4. The study will conclude in chapter 5 where there will be a discussion of the

results as compared to the literature and the theories utilized.








32

Chapter 5 will also include a discussion of the limitations of the study, practical

implications of the results and recommendations for future research.














CHAPTER 2
REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE


Introduction

Adolescence is marked by dramatic changes in the individual and his/her

relationships with significant others and society. It is a time of magnificent promise and

insidious risk (Cox, 1996; Jessor, 1991). Adolescence marks a long process of

experimentation which is essential to self definition. The adolescent and their family

mutually influence each other across time. The adolescent's family must adjust to this

process by providing an environment which helps the adolescent to evaluate the outcome

of these changes. Overall, adaptions in family organization including changes in cohesion

and adaptability are required to meet these tasks of adolescence (Worden, 1991) as the

family is transformed from a unit geared to protect and nurture young children to one that

prepares them to enter the world of adult responsibilities and commitments (Garcia-Preto,

1988). The interplay or fit between the characteristics of the adolescent and the family

become the soil which generates adaptive or maladaptive psychological and social

development/functioning (Bronfrenbrenner, 1988; Rutter & Rutter, 1993; Thomas &

Chess, 1977; 1980; Lemer, 1982, Worden, 1991).

Bronfenbrenner (1979), who provided the guiding theory of this study, views

social development (level of delinquency) as a function of characteristics of the










individual (e.g., personality) and the environment (e.g., family). The present study was

designed to test that functional relationship by addressing the question, "Does a

relationship exist between an adolescent's personality (i.e., characteristics of the self) and

his/her perception of family functioning (i.e., environmental characteristics of the system)

across his/her rate of delinquent offending (i.e., social development) while holding

relevant factors such as age, gender, and race constant?"

Chapter II will review the relevant literature to provide a context for

understanding the relationship between: (a) personality and delinquency, (b) family

functioning and delinquency, and (c ) Bronfenbrenner's (1979) Eco-Systemic Model of

Human Development and delinquency.



Personality-andiDelinquency

Personality factors have been linked in research to antisocial and delinquent

behavior for a long time (Dembo, La Voie, Schmeider, & Washburn, 1987; Eysenck &

Gudjonsson, 1989; Farrington, 1990; Fonseca & Yule, 1995; Gold, 1978; Guerra, 1987:

Heaven, 1996; Hoge, Andrews, Lesheid, 1994; Jesness, 1996; Roderts, Schmitz, Pinto. &

Cain, 1990; Moffitt, 1993; Paris, 1996; Rutter & Giller, 1983; Rutter & Rutter, 1993;

Salts, Lindholm, Goddard, & Duncan, 1995; Sorensen & Johnson, 1996; Tolan & Loeber.

1993; Quay, 1987). Jessor (1982), Shaw & Scott (1991) and, more recently, Jensen-

Campbell, Graziano, and Hair (1996) have emphasized the importance of recognizing that

personality factors are essential to a theoretical understanding of the way in which

adolescents with problem behaviors perceive their environment.








35

For example, recent efforts have operationalized and validated factors relevant to a theory

of criminal or antisocial personality to provide a viable explanation for the considerable

continuity over time in the relative levels of both offending and antisocial behavior

(Farrington, 1990; Frichette & LeBlanc, 1987; Jesness, 1996; Le Blanc, McDuff,

Charlebois, Gagnon, & Tremblay, 1991; Lytton, 1990; Shaw & Bell, 1993 and Quay,

1987).

Dembo, LaVoie, Schmeidher, and Washburn (1987) have suggested that to

neglect the psychological dimension of the adolescent precludes a deeper understanding

of the motivational bases of their behavior. Loeber and Dishion (1983) observed that the

general interest in identifying psychological variables related to delinquency stems from

the promising proposition that if such variables exist, then children at risk for

delinquency could be identified and targeted for preventive intervention.

Part of what makes an individual unique is their distinctive personality. From

birth, children are viewed as varying in their constitutional makeup or temperament

which provides the foundation of their own unique personality style (Kohnstamm, Bates,

& Rothbart, 1989; Garrison & Earls, 1987; Rutter & Rutter, 1993). Personality refers to

the pattern that each person, as a thinking being, develops as a way of dealing with their

temperamental traits, their encounters with various social contexts, and their life

experiences (Rutter & Rutter, 1993). Personality involves sets of cognitions about

ourselves, our relationships, and our interactions with the environment which constitute

the self-system and contains such qualities as self-esteem, self-efficacy, and social

problem-solving skills (Rutter & Rutter, 1993). The core structure of personality is based










in the human inclination to break experience into its fundamental elements to provide

reference points in adjusting to the complex stimulus structure of the external world

(Sullivan, Grant, & Grant, 1957). The merging of these reference points establishes a

basic central reference scheme or cognitive world, in which the experienced world of the

person is integrated with, and modified by, personal needs and expectations (Sullivan et

al, 1957). Consequently, these expectations, personal needs and hypotheses influence all

the individual's interpretations of and responses to the environment (Jesness & Wedge,

1984). Thus, over time, a fairly consistent set of expectations and attitudes is established

as an interpreting and working philosophy of life. Sullivan et al, (1957) suggests that it is

this nexus of gradually expanding experience, expectations, hypotheses, and perceptions

which make up the core of the personality.

Implicit in personality formation is the consistency or stability across time of its

makeup within an individual (Brook, Whiteman, Normura, Gordon, & Cohen, 1988;

Caspi & Bemrn, 1990; Tolan & Loeber, 1993). Many researchers have established a link

between early temperament and later personality (Caspi, Henry, McGee, Moffitt, and

Silva, 1995; Caspi, & Silva, 1995; Lynam, 1996). Tolan and Thomas (1995) reported

that Nagin and Farrington's (1992) test of Farrington and West's (in press) Cambridge

data suggests that persistent personality traits offered a reasonable explanation for the

numbers of convictions for criminal offenses among their 411 urban male sample, which

was followed from age 8 to 32. Nagin and Farrington's (1992) results support the

contention of Wilson and Hermstein (1985) and Gottfredson and Hirschi (1990) who

state that criminal activity level is primarily due to stable individual differences and not










situational or dynamic characteristics, such as timing of delinquent onset. Tolan and

Thomas (1995) and Tolan and Loeber (1993) agree that stable individual characteristics

are more influential than dynamic and situational influences, especially for those with

more extreme delinquency patterns (e.g., multiple arrests).

Continued evidence supporting the stability of personality over time has

strengthened the efforts to identify personality characteristics which differentiate types of

delinquents and levels of delinquency (See Mulvey, Arthur, Reppucci, 1993). According

to Quay (1987), several studies offer convergent support for a few distinct behavioral

subtypes which have shown promising, but mixed results. For example, factor analytic

studies of data from behavioral check lists (Achenback & Edelbrook, 1983; Quay &

Peterson, 1983) have identified four categories: undersocialized aggressive, socialized

aggressive, attention deficit, and anxious withdrawn. Similarly, (Mulvey, Aurthur and

Reppucci, 1993), research rooted in the California I-Level system of the 1970's (Jesness,

1971) found three subtypes of delinquents: passive conformist, power-oriented, and

neurotic (Palmer, 1974). Gold, (1978), Kaplan, (1980), Wells, & Rankin, (1993)

identified lower level of self-esteem as a common personality trait among delinquents.

Loeber, (1982), Loeber, (1990), Lorion et al. (1987), Patterson, (1986), and Tolan &

Mitchell, (1989) identified elevated measures of aggression as a common trait.

Measures of individual aggression have been viewed as the most useful form of

delineating delinquents followed second by indices of family systemic functioning

(Tolan, Cromwell, & Brass, 1986; Lorion, Tolan, & Wahlar, 1987). In a review provided

by Loeber and Stouthamer-Loeber (1987) it was concluded that 70 to 90 percent of








38

violent offenders had been highly aggressive when young (Farrington, 1978; Magnusson,

Stattin & Duner, 1983; Robins, 1966). Blumstein, Farrington, and Moitra, (1985), Craig

and Glick, (1968), Eron and Huesmann, (1990), Farrington (1995), and Pulkkinen,

(1983) all reported that elevated levels of aggressive tendencies correlated with violent

and chronic delinquent offending.

To illustrate the pervasiveness of aggression in antisocial youth, the following

will summerize five constructs of cognitive activity levels or styles related to increased

risks of delinquency as provided by Tolan and Loeber (1993). First, antisocial children

tend to utilize aggressive social cognitions in evaluating problems (Dodge, 1980; Dodge

& Frame, 1982; Guerra, Tolan, Huesmann, Van Acker, & Eron, 1990; Huesmann, 1988;

Huesmann & Eron, 1984). Second, antisocial children and adolescents tend to over label

individuals' behavior as motivated by aggression and to apply aggressive responses to

problem-solving (Dodge & Somberg, 1987). Antisocial children are often less aware of

the impact of such behavior on others (Guerra & Slaby, 1990) and are less able to take the

perspective of others in social interactions (Guerra, Eron, Huesmann, Tolan, & Van

Acker, 1991; Huesmann & Eron, 1984). Third, they evidence limited moral reasoning

skills (Guerra & Slaby, 1989,1990), and fourth, a low social skills level is often seen

which further contributes to their increased risk for antisocial behavior (Tolan, Pentz,

Aupporle, & Davis, 1990).








39

And finally, fifth, antisocial adolescents tend to have lower ability to generate competent

social dilemma solutions, tend to have less competent and less broad range of coping

skills (Tolan, Blitz, Davis, Fisher, Schwartz, & Thomas, 1990), and utilize more direct

(passive) as well as aggressive coping responses to stress (Tolan & Gorman-Smith,

1991).

While aggression is among the strongest facets of personality useful in delineating

risk of delinquency, it is merely one element of a more general antisocial tendency or

personality which may arise in childhood and could continue through the teenage and

adult years leading to increased offending (Farrington, 1995; West & Farrington, 1977).

For example, Hoge, Andrews, and Leshied (1994) utilized a sample of 338 mostly more

serious male and female offenders ranging in age from 12-17 to explore the independent

contribution of a general antisocial attitude variable in predicting delinquent activity. The

authors concluded that an antisocial attitude variable reflecting criminal or otherwise

antisocial attitudes, made a significant contribution to the prediction of criminal activity

independent of the family and peer association variables. This result was seen as

consistent with those reported by Glueck and Glueck (1950) and Guerra (1989) and

emphasizes the importance of antisocial/antiauthority/procriminal attitudes and beliefs in

the promotion of criminal behavior in young people.

Taking the above personality findings into consideration, the present study

utilized Jesness's (1996) Jesness Personality Inventory to operationalize and define the

construct of personality. Building on the defining personality work of Sullivan, Grant,

and Grant (1957), Jesness identified ten personality characteristics and an index of








40

delinquency (Asocial Index). Of these personality scales, the current study focused on the

social maladjustment (SM), manifest aggression (MA) and asocial index (AI). The

primary reasons these three were chosen was the importance of considering facets of

personality which pertain to amounts of aggression, the inappropriate usage of aggression

and a general antisocial attitudes in the delineation of delinquency.

SM refers to a set of attitudes associated with inadequate or disturbed

socialization. Here, social maladjustment is defined by the extent to which individuals

share attitudes of persons who do not meet personal needs and environmental demands in

socially approved ways (Jesness, 1996). MA reflects an awareness of unpleasant feelings

(especially anger and frustration), a tendency to react readily with those feelings, and

discomfort concerning the presence and control of those feelings (Jesness, 1996). AI is a

personality profile composite score of all 10 personality characteristics reflecting a

generalized disposition to resolve social or personal problems in ways that show a

disregard for social customs or rules (Jesness, 1996). These three have consistently been

found to distinguish among levels of delinquency (Dembo, La Voie, Schmeidler, &

Washburn, 1987; Graham, 1981; Jesness, 1996; Kunce & Hemphill, 1983; Martin, 1981;

Martin & Murphy, 1993; Sorensen & Johnson, 1996). It is clear from the above review

that personality is an important factor in the exploration of delinquency. The following

will be a review of what empirical and theoretical role the family plays in the exploration

of delinquency.










Family Functioning and Delinquency

Similar to personality factors, family factors have also been found to strongly

relate to delinquency in studies and reviews of antisocial and delinquent behavior

(Chamberlain & Rosicky, 1995; Hazelrigg, Cooper, & Borduin, 1987; Lauritsen, 1993;

Loeber & Hay, 1994; Henggeler, 1989; Johnson, Su, Gerstein, Shin, & Hoffman, 1995;

Loeber & Dishion, 1983; Tolan, Cromwell, & Brass, 1986; Wasserman, Miller, Pinner, &

Jaramillo, 1996; Loeber & Stouthamer-Loeber, 1986; Loeber, 1990; Snyder & Patterson,

1987; Tolan & Loeber, 1993). Research involving the role of the family in delinquency

has been investigated from many different perspectives. Tolan et al (1986) breaks the

research down into two primary categories. First, the earlier research focused more

heavily on structural variables. Second, and perhaps more of a direct indicator of the

family's role in delinquency is family interaction style and emotional atmosphere or more

commonly termed, "family functioning" variables. The following will be a review of

research findings from the structural and family functioning categories, an explanation of

the Circumplex Model of Marital and Family Systems (Olson, Russell, & Sprenkle.

1983) chosen to theoretically conceptualize family functioning, and relevant research

findings relating the Circumplex model to delinquency.

Structural Variables

As denoted by Tolan et al (1986), the majority of early research focused on

structural variables such as father's absence. Much of the broken home research could be

considered to fall under this category. A fairly current comprehensive critique attempting

to clarify the relationship between the broken home and juvenile delinquency conducted










by Free (1991) offers an excellent review of this category and broader demographic

variables. Free's findings, which are constant with a study conducted by Wells and

Rankin (1991), suggest that the broken home is more strongly related to minor offenses

than to serious offenses. Further, Free (1991) found that the effects of father absence and

the presence of a stepparent on delinquency were inconclusive and some evidence was

found supporting variations to the broken home/delinquency relationship depending on

gender, race, socioeconomic status, and neighborhood. Inconclusive findings precluded

Free (1991) from being able to discern a clear evaluation regarding the impact of the

timing of the break (childhood verses adolescence) or reasons for the break (divorce

versus death) on delinquency.

A review provided by Yoshikawa (1994), concluded that effects of family

structural variables such as broken homes, separation from parents, and number of

parents in the family, were indirectly mediated by parenting variables which are often

considered variables of family functioning (Bates, Bayles, Bennett, Ridge, & Brown,

1991; Cohen & Brooks, 1987; Craig & Glick, 1963; Laub & Simpson, 1988; Liska &

Reed, 1985; McCord, 1979; Patterson, 1982). General findings across the field of

delinquency have lead to the conclusion by many in the field that family structure appears

to be of little significance in over all juvenile delinquency, especially when controlling

for family functioning (Cernkovich & Giordano, 1987; Henggeler, 1989; Lauritsen, 1993;

Loeber & Stouthamer-Loeber, 1986; Lorion, Tolan, & Wahlar, 1987; Rosen, 1985;

Tolan, 1987 ; Tolan et. al, 1986; Tolan & Loeber, 1993; Tolan & Lorion, 1988 Tolan &

Mitchell, 1989; Yoshikawa, 1994).








43

Thus, as Nye (1958, p.34), an early researcher in the field of delinquency concluded, "It

is not the structure of the family per se which is causally related to delinquency, but

rather the actual relationships and interactional patterns which are the key variables."

Family Functioning

Family functioning was denoted by Tolan et al (1986) as the more recent and

primary category of family variables which play a major role in the development and

maintenance of juvenile delinquency. Family functioning variables are mainly seen to

consist of qualities including family interactional style and emotional atmosphere. The

following is a summary of five family functioning characteristics or interactions within

families having antisocial children which distinguish them from other families as outlined

by Tolan and Mitchell (1989) and corroborated by many other researchers (Chamberlain

& Rosicky, 1995, Henggeler, 1989; Henggeler, Melton, Smith, Foster, Hanely, &

Hutchinson, 1993; Lyton, True, Eisen, 1995; McGuffin & Gottesman, 1985; Wasserman,

Miller, Pinner, & Jarmillo, 1996; Yoshikawa, 1994).

First, families having delinquents often demonstrate long-standing and high

frequency levels of parental conflict, especially around discipline and value directives to

the children (Alexander, 1973; Hetherington, Stowie, & Ridberg, 1971; Reiss, 1981;

Singer, 1974). These families are often market by inconsistent disciplinary practices and

unintentional parental reinforcement (McCord, 1979; Patterson, & Stouthamer-loeber,

1984). Second, the direction of conversations and more importantly the influence of

power on family decisions is rarely differentially influenced between parents and children

(Alexander, 1973; Hetherington et al., 1971; Minuchin, Montalvo, Gurmey, Rosman, &










Schumer, 1967). Third, family interactions are frequently coercive for all involved

(Patterson, 1986). As a result of the coercive nature of relationships, positive expressions

seldom occur and they are unlikely to be followed by positive responses (Alexander,

1973). Similarly, Hanson, Henggeler, Haefele, & Rodick (1984), Power, Ash,

Schoenberg, and Sorey (1974), and Salts, Lindholm, Goddard, & Duncan, (1995) have all

suggested that in general, research supports the observation that families of delinquents

tend to exhibit more conflict than families of non-delinquents. Overall, this third point

emphasizes a general lack of positive affect in delinquent family interactions.

Fourth, according to Tolan and Mitchell (1989), communication in these families

is more often misperceived and labeled as aggressive than in other families (Alexander,

1973). There is a heightened tendency in the entire family to be suspicious of the

motivations of others and to assume intentional aggression. This propensity is usually

more prominent in the identified patient. Systemically, this leads to less emotional

cohesion, especially during times of conflict (Hanson, Henggeler, Haefle, & Rodick,

1984; Henggeler, 1989; Tolan, 1987;1988a; Tolan & Loeber, 1993). The fifth and final

discriminating characteristic of these families, is that a large percentage of

communication time is dominated by one or two members with an implicit or sometimes

explicit message proclaiming a lack of willingness to compromise. Similarly, family

problem-solving interactions are often viewed by members as threatening and as a

situation of competitiveness rather than joint challenge (Reiss, 1981). In sum, according

to this fifth point, it is Tolan and Mitchell's (1989) conclusion that much of the

communication is defensive, hostile, and aimed at maintaining one's safety.










Other summaries have listed similar distinguishing characteristics. For example,

the review offered by Scholte (1992), found major family risk factors regarding

delinquency included: (1) severe family conflict, (2) insecure attachments, (3) poor

supervision, (4) nondemocratic child-rearing practices, and (5) antisocial behavior at

home. Taking this review of the characteristics of delinquent families into consideration,

it is not surprising that many researchers have found between 30 and 40 percent of

variation in child antisocial behavior to be due to poor parenting and family interaction

variables, (i.e., poor family functioning) (e.g., Baldwin & Skinner, 1988; Patterson, 1986;

Patterson, Debaryshe, & Ramsey, 1989; Patterson, Dishion, & Banks, 1984).

The following will be an explanation of the Circumplex model which was used in

the current study. This theoretical model will help provide insights into the mechanisms

and characteristics within the family system which may effect the level of delinquency.

CircumplexModel of Marital and Family Systems

The current study utilized the Circumplex Model of Marital and Family Systems

(Olson, Sprenkle, & Russell, 1979; Olson, Russell, & Sprenkle, 1983, 1989) to

theoretically conceptualize family functioning. This model was developed in an attempt

to bridge the gap between research, theory, and practice (Olson, 1986). The core

components of this systems theory (cohesion and adaptability) were derived out of an

attempt to delineate two aspects of marital and family behavior that appear as underlying

dimensions for the multitude of concepts in the family field (Olson, Sprenkle, & Russell,

1979).








46

A review of the literature conducted by Olson et al (1979) brought to light over 50

concepts related to one or both of these dimensions. For example, as illustrated by

Edman, Cole and Howard (1990), related to cohesion are Minuchin's (1974) concepts of

boundaries, disengagement, and enmeshment, Bowen's (1959) concepts of emotional

divorce, differentiation, and emotional fusion, Hess and Handel's (1959) concepts of

separateness and connectedness, and Wynne and his colleagues' (1958) concepts of

pseudohostility, mutuality, and pseudomuality. Related to adaptability are the Kiemrnan

and Tallman's (1972) concepts of flexibility and spousal adaptability, Wertheim's (1975)

concepts of morphostasis and morphogenesis and the Group for the Advancement of

Psychiatry's (1970) concepts of role agreement, and flexible leadership. These concepts

along with the foundations of general systems theory (Buckley, 1967) have all played a

role in the theoretical formulations of family functioning as modeled by the Circumplex

model. In the current study, this model was measured through the use of the FACES-Il.

The following will be an overview of the Circumplex Model of Marital and Family

Systems followed by research relating this model to delinquency.

Cohesion and adaptability are the two primary qualities used in the Circumplex

model to delineate the levels of family functioning. Family functioning is defined to

range from the most healthy or Balance family types, to Mid-Range, to the least healthy

or Extreme family types. The level of communication within the family is the third

dimension of the model. Communication is hypothesized to facilitate the family's ability

to shift upwards from lower levels of functioning or, if poor communication is present,

deteriorate to lower levels of family functioning.








47

To determine a family's overall level of family functioning from this perspective,

their quality of cohesion and adaptability must be established. Family cohesion is

defined as "the emotional bonding that family members have towards one another"

(Olson, Russell, & Sprenkle, 1983, p. 70). Cohesion is seen as varying along a continuum

consisting of four basic levels. These levels vary from the extremely low (disengaged), to

moderate (separated, connected), to extremely high (enmeshed). Similarly, adaptability is

defined to also vary along a continuum consisting of four basic levels. These levels vary

from extremely low (rigid), to moderate (structured, flexible), to extremely high

(chaotic). Family adaptability is defined as "the ability of a marital or family system to

change its power structure, role relationships, and relationship rules in response to

situational and developmental stress" (Olson et al., 1983, p.70).

To understand the meaning behind the levels of family functioning it is important

to understand the central hypothesis to the Circumplex model. This model hypothesizes

the existence of a curvilinear relationship between the dimensions of cohesion and

adaptability and family functioning (Olson, McCubbin, Barnes, Larson, Muxen, &

Wilson, 1985). Thus, as previously outlined, those families who exist in the mid ranges of

cohesion and adaptability (Balanced family types) are hypothesized to be most viable for

healthy family functioning and development (Olson, 1989). The balanced families have

moderate cohesion (separated, connected) representing a balance between too little

closeness (disengaged) and too much closeness (enmeshed) in the family. Similarly,

balanced families also have moderate adaptability (structured, flexible) representing a

balance between too little change (rigid) and too much change (chaotic) in the family.










Families found to range in the extremes of cohesion and adaptability (Extreme

family types) are generally seen as most dysfunctional and problematic in terms of family

functioning and development (Olson, Sprenkle, & Russuel, 1979). It is also hypothesized

that families who are of Balanced type have better communication skills than families in

the Extreme types (Olson, 1989). Overall, the Circumplex model is clearly defined and

easily measurable (FACES-11) which contributed to its utility in distinguishing levels of

family functioning.

The utility and theoretical tenets postulated by the Circumplex model have been

substantiated throughout the literature. For example, it has been clearly established that

the Circumplex model can reliably discriminate between problem families and non-

symptomatic families (Walsh, 1993). Also, Olson (1994) has made a strong case

substantiating the underlying curvilinear hypothesis of the Circumplex model.

Further support also exists within the literature for the model's hypothesis which

suggests that lower functioning families such as families with delinquents would reflect

more troubled communications than higher functioning families. For example, in relation

to communication, such families have been associated with inconsistent family

communication patterns (Lessin & Jacob, 1984), high amounts of paternal and maternal

defensive communication in competitive contexts (Alexander, Waldron, Barton, & Mas,

1989), and generally aggressive and unclear communications styles (Alexander, 1973;

Tolan & Mitchell, 1989).

Most relevant to the present study was the support found across several reviews of

the Circumplex model's utility to distinguish among levels of delinquency (e.g., Geismar










& Wood, 1986; Henggeler, 1989). Findings similar to the above reviewed have

contributed to prominent researchers in the field of delinquency to indorse the

Circumplex model as a family systems model of choice in the area of delinquency

research and treatment (Henggeler, 1989; Maynard & Hultquist, 1988; Tolan & Lorion,

1988; Worden, 1991). The following will be a review of research findings relating the

two central dimensions of the Circumplex Model (adaptability and cohesion) to

delinquency.

Adaptability

While still supported, the dimension receiving the least empirical backing has

been the adaptability dimension of the Circumplex model. This dimension has not

consistently been shown to discriminate between levels of delinquency (Cox, 1996;

Hanson, Henggeler, Haefle, & Rodick, 1984, Henggeler, Melton, Smith, Foster, Hanley,

& Hutchinson, 1993; Krohn, Stem, Thomberry, & Jang, 1992; Tolan, 1988a). According

to Henggeler (1989), this may be due to sampling and measurement differences. While

according to Olson (1994), it may be more an artifact of the current likert scale design

utilized in the FACES-LI.

However, other studies have utilized the FACES and demonstrated a relationship

between the extremes of adaptability and levels of delinquency. For example, in a sample

of juvenile offenders, Rodick, Henggeler, and Hanson (1986), found that families of

delinquents were more chaotic and disorganized. Blaske, Borduin, Henggeler, and Mann

(1989) found that the families of adolescent offenders, especially violent offenders, were

more rigid and inflexible.








50

Similarly, the studies of McGaha and Foumier (1988) exploring families having

violent offenders and Henggeler, Burr-Harris, Borduin, and McCallum, (1991) studying

families with repeat adolescent offenders, each found scores suggesting these families

existed in the extremes of adaptability as measured by the FACES. Though mixed

findings exist, reviewers have generally concluded that a link appears to exits between

adolescent antisocial behavior and both low family adaptability (rigid family structure)

and high family adaptability (chaotic family structure) (e.g., Geismar & Wood, 1986;

Henggeler, 1989).

Cohesion

The relationship between many different forms of cohesion in family systems and

delinquency has been strongly supported in the literature. For instance, Patterson,

DeBaryshe, and Ramsey (1989), characterized families of antisocial children to have little

parental involvement with their children; Phares and Compas (1992), reported that many

researchers have found delinquent families to have conflictual, unaffectionate father son

relations and to have generally poor parental relations, and Johnson, Su, Gerstein, Shin,

and Hoffman, (1995) determined that research has consistently shown that a low degree

of parental support (i.e., parental interest, understanding, supervision, discipline,

encouragement and love) is a key determinant of poor psychosocial adolescent

functioning including delinquency. Further, Krohn, Stem, Thomberry, and Jang (1992),

Moffitt (1993), Lauritsen (1993), and Salts, Lindholm, Goddard, and Duncan, (1995)

have all concluded that low family cohesion or low family attachment bonds were among

the strongest predictors of delinquent and persistent antisocial behavior.








51

Other examples strengthening the link between family cohesion and delinquency

are Shaw and Bell's (1993) conclusions that family factors involving discipline and the

quality of parent-child relations are at the for front of meta-analyses in the delinquency

field and Rosen's (1985) determination that after a comprehensive review of the

literature, no matter how delinquency is defined or measured or what population is being

studied, the research consistently shows that poor parent-child relationships, no matter

how defined or measured are associated with higher levels of delinquency. And finally,

Tolan, Cromwell, and Brass (1986), concluded that the literature strongly demonstrates

family cohesion and parental discipline as the variables which most strongly

differentiated levels of delinquents second only to individual aggression.

Similarity, research specifically reporting on the cohesion dimension of the

Circumplex model has also shown a consistent relationship between levels of cohesion

and levels of delinquency. For example, a study conducted by McGaha and Foumrnier

(1988) found that families having violent offenders exist in the extremes of cohesion as

measured by the FACES. A study conducted by Henggeler, Melton, Smith, Foster,

Hanley and Hutchinson (1993) with a sampled of 87 serious juvenile offenders from

disadvantaged families, found cohesion correlated with non-violent and violent

offending. Further, while studying general delinquency, Maynard and Hultquist (1988)

found that among their small sample of delinquents, 44 percent of the families fell in the

extreme range, 48 percent were mid-range, and 2 percent were in the balanced range.

Maynard and his associate concluded that from their sample it would seem deviant

behavior of the youths may be indicative of overall family dysfunction.








52

These findings are consistent with other researchers findings in that FACES scores tend

to be in the extreme ranges of cohesion for families with delinquent youth (Hanson,

Henggeler, Haefle, & Rodick, 1984; Rodick, Henggeler, & Hanson, 1986; Tolan, 1988a).

Following that the current study explored the rate of delinquency, of particular

interest were findings surrounding rates of delinquency and cohesion as measured by the

FACES. For example, Druckman (1979) found that juveniles in her study with the

highest recidivism rates came from families in the extreme enmeshed category.

Henggeler, Burr-Harris, Borduin, and McCallium (1991) researching families with repeat

adolescent offenders, also found scores indicating these families existed in the extremes

of cohesion. Finally, Cox (1996) concluded that her results indicated the frequency of

arrest not severity of crime most correlated with extremes of the cohesion range. Cox

(1996) also reported, though not statistically significant, that severity of crime correlated

negatively with a measure of self-esteem.

Overall, the presented studies and other reviews (e.g., Geismar & Wood, 1986;

Henggeler, 1989) support the existence of a relationship between levels of adolescent

antisocial behavior and both low family cohesion (disengaged family structure) and in a

few cases, for high family cohesion (enmeshed family structure). In sum, the empirical

literature provides ample support for the utility of the Circumplex model to distinguish

levels of delinquency and to provide insight into the relationship between family

functioning and delinquency.








53

The following review of Bronfenbrenner's (1979) holistic eco-systemic model of human

development outlines the theoretical grounds utilized to justify the current study's

exploration of the existence of a relationship between family functioning and personality

across the rate of delinquency.



Eco-Systemic Model of Human Development

Bronfenbrenner's ecological paradigm, first introduced in the 1970s

(Bronfenbrenner 1974, 1976, 1977, 1979), represented a reaction to the restricted scope

of most research then being conducted by developmental psychologists (Bronfenbrenner,

1994). According to Bronfenbrenner (1994) the primary scientific aim of this ecological

approach is not to claim answers, but to provide a theoretical framework that, through its

application, will lead to further progress in discovering the processes and conditions that

shape the course of human development. Many researchers in the field of juvenile

delinquency have recognized Bronfenbrenner's (1979) Eco-Systemic Model of Human

Development as a viable frame to explain the need for a multivariate approach in the

understanding, treatment, and prevention of juvenile delinquency (Bogenschneider, 1996;

Henggeler, 1989; Lemer, 1991; Liddle, 1995; Magnusson, 1995; Moffitt, 1993; Salts,

Lindholm, Goddard, & Duncan, 1995; Mulvey, Arthur, Reppucci, 1993; Paris, 1996;

Reid, 1993; Tolan & Loeber, 1993; Yoshikawa, 1994; Worden, 1991).










The current study utilized Bronfenbrenner's model to justify the investigation of the

existence of a relationship between personality (i.e., characteristics of the self) and family

functioning (i.e., environmental characteristics of the system) across levels of delinquent

offending (i.e., social development).

The following will be a discussion of Bronfenbrenner's (1979) Eco-Systemic

Model with a focus on the proximal influences of family functioning (in particular

cohesion and adaptability) and personality on development. This will be followed by a

discussion of the theorized reciprocal nature of personality and family functioning and

their possible risk and protective influences on development. The section will close with

an explanation of the eco-systemic position of "goodness of fit" as related to one's

developmental outcome. Relevant research from the field of juvenile delinquency will be

included throughout this discussion.

Bronfenbrenner's (1979) Eco-Systemic Model has at its foundation the premise

that human development occurs as a joint function of characteristics of the person and the

environment. In essence, this model theorizes that a complexity of multiple factors, rather

than a single factor, influences human development and social functioning. A relevant

area of support for this position has been the discovery that the development of

delinquency is a result of many complex interacting factors (Benda, 1987;

Bogenschneider, 1996; Calabrese & Adams, 1990; Marsh, Clement, Stoughton, &

Marckioni, 1986; Jesness, 1996; Salts, Lindholm, Goddard, & Duncan, 1995; Tolan &

Loeber, 1993; Tolan, Cromwell, & Brass, 1986; Worden, 1991). According to

Bronfenbrenner's model, the multiple factors of influence on development emanate from










several levels of the ecosystem. These levels vary from those directly including the

individual to more distal factors within the environment not necessarily including the

individual. Bronfenbrenner (1979) describes the ecosystem to be a topologically nested

arrangement of concentric structures with each containing the next. As previously

reviewed, these structures are referred to as micro-, meso-, exo-, and macrosystems. The

microsystem was most relevant to the current study and will be the focus of the current

literature review.

The microsystem refers to a pattern of activities, roles, and interpersonal relations

experienced by the developing person in a given setting with particular physical and

material characteristics (Bronfenbrenner, 1979). Thus, it involves the structures and

processes taking place in an immediate face to face setting containing the developing

person (e.g., family, school, peer group, workplace, etc.). For example, beyond the

previously established relationship of personality and delinquency and family functioning

and delinquency, is evidence relating ones peer group (Elliot et al., 1985; Erickson &

Jensen, 1977; Dodge, 1980; Patterson & Dishion, 1985; Tolan, 1988b; Tolan, 1990;

Tolan & Loeber, 1993), School (Hawkins & Lam, 1987; Salts, Lindholm, Goddard, &

Duncan, 1995;), job site (Duster, 1987; Fagan & Wexler, 1987; Hirschi, 1969; Tolan,

1988b), Church (Higgins & Albrecht, 1977), and community (Bogenschneider, 1996) to

levels of delinquency.

Bronfenbrenner, (1988) considers the most influential forces on human

development to be the proximal environmental and organismic influences within the

microsystem. These proximal influences emanate either from within the person, or from










physical features, objects, and persons in the immediate face to face setting

(Bronfenbrenner, 1988). The two proximal influences of focus in the current study were

the adolescent's personality and the adolescent's family functioning. The relationship

between these two proximal influences along with other various variables of influence on

development were theorized to be reciprocal in nature and to culminate into the forces

determining the outcomes of development (Bronfenbrenner, 1979).

The basic nature of the relationship between the influencing variables on

development is described in Bronfenbrenner's (1995) two defining properties of his

ecological systems theory. As previously reviewed, according to Proposition 1,

especially in its early phases, and to a great extent throughout the life course, human

development is seen to takes place through processes of progressively more complex

reciprocal interaction between an active, evolving biopsychological human organism and

the persons, objects, and symbols in its immediate environment. According to

Bronfenbrenner (1995), in order for these interactions to be effective, they must occur on

a regular basis over extended periods of time. These enduring forms of interaction in the

immediate environment are between the proximal influences and are referred to as

proximal processes. Examples of enduring patterns of proximal processes are found in

parent-child and child-child activities, groups or solitary play, reading, learning new

skills, studying, athletic activities, and performing complex tasks (Bronfenbrenner, 1995).

Further, according to Proposition 2, the form, power, content, and direction of the

proximal processes effecting development vary systematically as a joint function of the

biopsychological characteristics of the developing person; of the environment, both










immediate and more remote, in which the processes are taking place; and the nature of

the developmental outcomes under consideration (Bronfenbrenner, 1995). Thus, as many

researchers from the eco-systemic approach have supported, rather than view the primacy

of one factor over another's influence on developmental outcomes, more a reciprocal

interaction of factors would be expected to exist (Bogenschneider, 1996; Borduin, Pruitt,

Henggeler, 1985; Bronfenbrenner, 1995; Calabrese & Adams, 1990; Cohen & Siegel,

1991; Dadds, 1987; Farrington, 1995; Henggeler, 1989; Lemer, 1991; McLeod,

Kruttschnitt, & Domfield, 1994; Wasserman, Miller, Pinner, & Jaramillo, 1996;

Magnusson, 1995; Paris, 1996; Sameroff, 1975; Shaw & Bell, 1993; Tolan & Leober,

1993; Walsh, Craik, & Price, 1992). The following will be a discussion of the

relationship between the proximal influences of family functioning (in particular cohesion

and adaptability) and personality.

Relationship Between Family functioning and&Personality

Psychological health was the focus of much of the earlier work exploring the

relationship between family functioning and developing children and adolescents. For

example, Minuchin, Rossman, and Baker's (1978) work lead them to conclude that the

emotional boundaries of family members (i.e., cohesion) and family adaptation to

developmental and external pressures (i.e., adaptability) appear to have a curvilinear

relationship to the psychological health of family members. The extremes in either

parameter, according the Minuchin et al. (1978) appeared to characterize dysfunctional

family systems and to contribute to poor psychological health.










This conclusion, especially in relation to cohesion, has since been supported by many

others in the field (Amerikaner, Monks, Wolfe, & Thomas, 1994; Barnes & Farrell, 1992;

Farrell & Barnes, 1993; Farrell, Bamrnes, Banerjee, 1995; Lin, Dean, & Ensel, 1985;

Prange, Greenbaum, Silver, Friedman, Kutash, & Duchnowski, 1992; Walsh & Olson,

1989).

Other researchers have focused on the relationship of family functioning and

personality development in specific. For example, similar to Bronfenbrenner (1979),

Loevinger (1976) purports that personality or ego development is stimulated by the

interpersonal environment, especially the intrafamilial environment. Loevinger theorized

that parents can function as pacers or factors of equilibrium in their child's ego growth.

More recently, Novy, Gaa, Frankiewicz, Liberman, and Amerikaner, (1992) working

from Loevinger's theory, sampled 61 nonchronic juvenile offenders and their parents and

found an association between FACES-II scores of cohesion and adaptability and the

juvenile offender's level of ego development. Results revealed functional levels of family

functioning were associated with higher levels of ego development while lower levels of

ego development were associated with both the parent's and the adolescent's view of a

dysfunctional range of cohesion and adaptability. Some variations were reported by Novy

et al. (1992) depending on match or mismatch of parental and adolescent view of family

functioning.

A further example of specific work exploring the importance of the quality of

family interactions in ego development is a study conducted by Hauser, Powers, Noam,

Jacobson, Weiss, and Follanshee (1984). These researchers found that family interactions








59

emphasizing warmth, acceptance, and understanding tend to support higher levels of ego

development and identity clarification in adolescents. Further, Hauser et al. (1984)

concluded that the absence of such positive interactions and the presence of their negative

counterparts (devaluing, indifference) are associated with diminished levels of adolescent

ego development.

In general, consistent support has been found to demonstrate that the extremes of

the cohesion and adaptability dimensions are more associated with poor development of

personality, while more functional levels of cohesion and adaptability are more associated

with healthy development of personality (e.g., Beavers, 1977; Prange, Greenbaum, Silver,

Friedman, Kutash, & Duchnowski, 1992; Walsh & Olson, 1989).Thus, the eco-systemic

position of a hypothesized relationship between the proximal influences of family

functioning and personality could be interpreted to have empirical support. The focus of

this review now turns to literature more specifically supporting the hypothesized

reciprocal nature of the relationship between the two proximal influences of personality

and family functioning.

Reciprocal Nature of Variableson-Development

The reciprocal nature of the relationship between family functioning and

personality can be interpreted to gain support through a study conducted by Smets and

Hartup (1988). The primary goal of their study was to explored the relationship between

cohesion and adaptability and child symptomatology while controlling such factors as

personality. Their sample consisted of 120 families and their children who ranged

between the ages of 6 and 16. All of these families were referred to one of six out patient










clinics in Northern Wisconsin for treatment. Smets and Hartup (1988) reported that

extreme range scores on the FACES-11 for cohesion and adaptability were associated

more with low self-esteem than were midrange family functioning scores. The results

could be seen to supported the position that a child's self-esteem and sense of self-

efficacy is tied to their family system.

Further, Smets and Hartup (1988) emphasized that due to the correlational nature

of the statistics used, caution is necessary when attempting to make causal interpretations.

The authors suggested that low self-esteem (and concomitant behavioral manifestations)

may be disruptive factors within the family, but the reverse may also be true. Thus, a

reciprocal model may be seen to exist. The dysfunctional family system may lower the

self-esteem of the child, but at the same time, the defensive tactics used by the children

with low feelings of self-worth probably also reduce the effectiveness of the family

system to function.

Similarly, according to Wasserman, Miller, Pinner, and Jaramillo, (1996) grounds

exist supporting the view that the juxtaposition of a difficult child (e.g., impulsive,

aggressive) with an adverse family context (e.g., incompetent parenting) may initiate risk

for a persistent pattern of oppositional and antisocial behavior through a transactional or

reciprocal process between the family and the child. Other researcher have concurred

with this interpretation (e.g., Cicchetti & Richters, 1993; Conduct Problems Prevention

Research Group, 1992; Moffitt, 1993).

In sum, the evidence provided by Smets and Hartup (1988) and Wasserman,

Miller, Pinner, and Jaramillo, (1996) are consistent with many other researchers who










have supported the reciprocal nature of family functioning and personality on the

outcome of development (Bronfenbrenner, 1979; Brooks, Whiteman, Normura, Gordan,

& Cohen, 1988; McLeod, Kruttschnitt, & Domfeld, 1994; Lemer & Spanier, 1978; Tolan

& Mitchell, 1989; Shaw & Bell, 1993; Wasserman, Miller, Pinner, & Jaramillo, 1996).

The following section will bring to light the possible influences of the protective and risk

factors associated with family functioning and personality on development. This is seen

to further strengthen the existence of a possible relationship between family functioning

and personality upon the rate of delinquency.

Protective and Risk Factors

The complex impact on the course of development that the existence of a

reciprocal relationship between family functioning and personality appear to have is

further strengthened by evidence of each factor's risk and/or protective influences.

According to Bogenschneider (1996) the acknowledgment of possible risk and protective

aspects of variables on the outcome of development is an important facet to an eco-

systemic orientation. The following will be a review of the defining properties of

protective and risk influences along with possible specific family functioning and

personality examples of these influences on delinquency.

Protective factors are qualities or conditions that moderate a juvenile's exposure

to risk (Wilson & Howell, 1994). They are considered by both Garmezy (1985) and

Rutter (1990) to mitigate the impact of risk on adolescent behavior and development. In

essence, their role is to modify the response to later adversity rather than to foster normal

development in any direct sense (Rutter, 1985). However, this does not imply that










protective factors can not impact development directly (Farrell, Barnes, & Banerjee,

1995). Risk factors on the other hand are qualities or conditions that directly contribute to

dysfunction (Rutter, 1990). Thus, in general, protective factors or processes are not

simply the opposite if risks; protective processes do not load directly to an outcome, as

risks do, but rather operate when a risk is present (Rutter, 1987).

Further, it can be seen as evident that risk factors operate in a cumulative and

interactive fashion. This is based on a review of several longitudinal studies exploring the

impact of multiple risks on child development and delinquency (Yoshikawa, 1994).

According to Yoshikawa (1994), a multiplicative, rather than simply additive, relation is

often found between the number of risk factors and likelihood of dysfunction. Risk

factors can interact (or, to use Rutter's (1979) term, "potentiate" each other) to greatly

increase chances of later dysfunction. For example, Kolvin, Miller, Fleeting, and Kolvin

(1988) explored multiple risk factors measured during the first 5 years of a Newcastle,

England, Birth cohort of 847 children. It was found that the mean number of criminal

offenses committed up to the age of 33 was 0.7 for those with no risk factors present, 2.9

for those with one or two, and 5.1 for those with 3 or more. These findings are consistent

with other studies exploring the cumulative impact of multiple risk factors and level of

antisocial behavior (Leober, 1990; Saner & Ellickson, 1996).

Across the literature protective and risk factors have been categorized by several

authors in similar ways. These include Jessor's (1991) social environment and personality

domains, Wilson, JD, and Howell's (1994) individual characteristics, bonding (inside and

outside the family), and healthy beliefs and clear standards of behavior categories, Moen










and Erickson's (1995) social and personal resources, Garmezy's (1985) personality

features, family cohesion, and external support features, and Bogenshneider's (1996)

breakdown by individual, family, peer, school, work setting, and community levels.

Consistent across all of these examples is the inclusion of an individual level and an

environmental level. This parallels the eco-systemic position that development results

from a function of forces including the individual and the environment. The following

review of protective and risk factors as related to levels of delinquency will focus on

family functioning and personality influences.

Qualities of family function which may act as protective factors indirectly

contributing to a decreased level of delinquency include: healthy levels of family

cohesion or family bonds (Bogenshneider, 1996; Hirschi, 1969, Garmezy, 1985, Jessor,

1991; Moen & Erickson, 1995; Paris, 1996; Rosen, 1985; Rutter, 1979; Wilson, JD, &

Howell, 1994), effective and nurturing parenting (Farrington & West, 1981; Liddle, 1995;

McCord, 1986; Pulkkinen, 1983), clear standards of family behavior (Wilson, JD, &

Howell, 1994), the absence of family discord (Garmezy, 1985; Hirschi, 1969, Moen &

Erickson, 1995; Rutter, 1979), and intimate family communication (Hirschi, 1969).

Qualities of family function which may act as risk factors directly contributing to an

increased level of delinquency include: insecure attachments (Bogenscheider, 1996:

Campbell, 1990), chaotic family environment (Paris, 1996), parental instability (Paris,

1996), poor parent child rearing practices (Bogenschneider, 1996; Leober, 1990; Paris,

1996), unclear family rules, expectations, and rewards (Bogenschneider, 1996), and

general family dysfunction (Leober, 1990; Paris, 1996). These examples provide a similar










profile to the Circumplex model. Thus, is would appear that aspects of the balanced

regions of cohesion and adaptability could act similarly to protective factors while, the

extremes could act similar to the risk factors.

Qualities of personality which may act as protective factors indirectly contributing

to a decreased level of delinquency include: positive self-esteem (Bogenschneider, 1996;

Heaven, 1996; McFarlane, Bellissimo, & Norman, 1994; Schweitzer, Seth-Smith &

Callan, 1992), resilient temperament (Rutter, 1990; Wilson, JD, & Howell, 1994),

psychological hardiness (Kobasa, 1979; Amerikaner, Monks, Wolfe, & Thomas, 1994),

health temperamental, cognitive, and emotional resources (Quay, 1987), high value on

academic achievement (Jessor, 1991), healthy beliefs and a clear standard of behavior

(Wilson, JD, & Howell, 1994), high intolerance of deviance (Jessor, 1991), altruism and

basic values (Moen & Erickson, 1995), well developed social and intellectual skills

(Bogenschneider, 1996), and a positive social orientation (Wilson, JD, & Howell, 1994).

Qualities of personality which may act as risk factors directly contributing to an increased

level of delinquency include: antisocial/antiauthority/procriminal attitudes (Farrington,

1995; Glueck & Glueck, 1950; Guerra, 1989; Hoge, Andrews, & Leshied, 1994; Jesness,

1996), high levels of alienation or rebelliousness (Bogenschneider, 1996)

high levels of aggression (Blumstein, Farrington, & Moitra, 1985; Craig & Glick, 1968;

Eron & Huesmann, 1990; Farrington, 1995; Pulkkinen, 1983), having multiple factors of

Asocial personality disorder or factors of Conduct disorder (Paris, 1996),

impulsive disposition (Kagan, 1994), and high behavioral activation levels (Paris, 1996).

These examples provide a similar profile to the personality characteristics assessed in the








65

current study. Thus, this would imply that varying levels of the SM, MA, and AI scales in

the Jesness Personality Inventory may also represent risk factors when extremely

elevated.

The above review provides considerable evidence of the multiple way in which an

interaction between characteristics of family functioning and personality may be

expressed as forms of risk and protective factors influencing each other and development.

In essence, protective and risk factors contribute to the reciprocal dance between the

proximal influences and may effect the odds or probabilities that the levels of delinquent

offending may vary. Protective and risk factors are another facet of the eco-systemic

orientation which suggests that there may existence an interaction between family

functioning and personality on the rate of delinquency. The following section will

provide insight into how the eco-systemic model emphasizes the quality of the

relationship or "goodness of fit" between the individual and environment which may

contribute to the individual's developmental outcomes.

Goodness of Fit

The protective and risk influences along with the reciprocal nature of family

functioning and personality are viewed to contribute to the forces shaping the outcome of

development. These factors add to the complexity of the fit between the individual and

the environment. According to the eco-systemic model, the overall "goodness of fit"

between the characteristics of a living organism and its surroundings may result in the

formation of adaptive or maladaptive psychological and social functioning

(Bronfenbrenner, 1988; Lemer, 1982; Rutter & Rutter, 1993; Thomas & Chess, 1977;










1980; Worden, 1991). In general, during the interaction of intrapersonal dynamics with

interpersonal forces, if a child's characteristics match (or fit) the demands of a particular

setting, adaptive outcomes may accrue, but if a "poor fit" between environmental

expectations and demands and the capacities of the child at a particular level of

development exist, disturbed behavioral functioning may instead manifested (Thomas &

Chess, 1980; Worden, 1991).

When considering a developmental outcome, Bronfenbrenner's (1995) Eco-

Systemic Model of Human Development recommends factoring into the evaluation the

"goodness of fit" for the individual throughout the interaction between many

characteristics of the individual and multiple levels of the environment over time. Thus,

as strongly supported by the empirical literature, Bronfenbrenner's (1979) overall view of

criminal behavior is that it is multi-determined by the reciprocal interplay of

characteristics of the individual youth and the key social systems in which the youths are

embedded (i.e., family, peer, school, neighborhood, community) (Bogenschneider, 1996;

Elliot, 1994; Hawkins & Catalano, 1993; Henggeler, 1989, 1996; Thornberry, Huizinga,

& Loeber, 1995: Tolan & Guerra, 1994).

Further, the eco-systemic model theorizes that playing a dominate role in this

process are the proximal influences located within the microsystem (Bronfenbrenner,

1979). Thus, the eco-systemic model provided the theoretical justification for the current

study's examination of the existence of a relationship between the proximal influences of

family functioning and personality upon the rate of delinquency.










Summary

In summary, a review of the literature was presented which included significant

theoretical and empirical evidence relating personality, family functioning and

Bronfenbrenner's (1979) eco-systemic model of human development to rate of juvenile

delinquency. A significant gap in the literature exists regarding the exploration of the

existence of a relationship between personality and family functioning across the rate of

delinquency (Arbuthnot, Gordon, & Jurkovic, 1987; Jesness, 1996; Le Blanc, 1992;

Lorion, Tolan, & Wahlar, 1987; Mulvey, Arthur, & Reppucci, 1993; Tolan, Cromwell, &

Brass, 1986). Bronfenbrenner's (1979) Eco-Systemic Model of Human Development was

presented to provide the theoretical justification for the current study's attempt to fill this

gap through addressing the question "Does a relationship exist between an adolescent's

personality (i.e., characteristics of the self) and his/her perception of family functioning

(i.e., environmental characteristics of the system) across his/her rate of delinquent

offending (i.e., social development) while holding relevant factors such as age, gender,

and race constant?"














CHAPTER THREE
METHODOLOGY



This chapter will address the following topics: (a) statement of purpose, (b)

relevant variables, (c) hypotheses, (d) data analysis, (e) description of the population, (f)

sampling procedures, (g) sample, (h) data collection, and (i) instrumentation.



Statement ofPurpose

This study is based on the eco-systemic view that children are shaped not only by

their personal attributes, but also by the ever-widening environments in which they

develop (Bronfenbrenner, 1979). Central to the course of social development is the

interplay between proximal characteristics of the child and their environment

(Bronfenbrenner, 1988). Yet to be fully explored in the field of delinquent study is the

possible existence of a relationship between two relevant proximal influences known as

personality and family functioning. This study was designed to investigate the existence

of a relationship between personality and family functioning across the rate of juvenile

delinquency.










Delineati-oifRelevant Variables

DependentVariable

The dependent variable was the adolescent's rate of juvenile delinquency. It was

comprised of the total number of illegal charges with which an adolescent has accrued

over their life time as filed within the juvenile court system at the time of data collection.

This variable was broken into three frequencies of offending which included: first time

offender (having only one charge), multiple offender (having 2 to 4 charges) and chronic

offender (having 5 or more charges) (Hindelang, Hirschi, & Weis, 1981; Tracy,

Wolfgang, & Figlio, 1990; Wolfgang, Figlio, & Sellin, 1972). Utilizing frequency is a

method of measurement common in delinquency research and has shown high reliability

and validity (Cox, 1996; Lau & Leung, 1992; Leug & Drasgow, 1986; Lynam, 1996;

Smith, Visher, & Jarjoura, 1991; Spiuack, Marcus, & Swift, 1986). The utilization of

official records of one's frequency of charges was chosen following that official records

of arrests or court contacts are the most widely reported figures used in the literature

(Mulvey, Arthur, & Reppucci, 1993).

Independent Variables

Age, for the purposes of this study was defined as the listed length of time one has

been alive as provided by the respondent in whole numbers on the demographic

questionnaire. The role of age in understanding delinquency has been fraught with

inconsistent findings. For example, Hindelang, Hirschi, and Weis, (1981) used National

Crime Survey data for 1973-1977 and documented very dramatic age specific variations

in differences of delinquent crime rates. Tolan and Loeber (1993) reported age correlates










positively in adolescence with the overall prevalence of antisocial involvement with a

peak at age 16 for serious offending and dropping off around 17-19. Smith, Visher, and

Jaroura (1991) found age among active offenders did not relate to the frequency of

delinquency activity. From a different view, Smets, and Hartup (1988) and Olczak,

Parcell, and Sttot (1983) both made very strong cases to control for age due to the

possible developmental difference effecting family relations and ultimately levels of

delinquency.

Gender, for the purposes of this study was defined as the indication of male or

female on the demographic questionnaire by the respondent. The role of gender in

understanding delinquency has been debated in the literature (see Yoshikawa, 1994).

Many researchers have found males to have higher rates of offending both according to

official records and self-report data (Canter, 1982; Elliot, Huizinga, & Menard, 1989;

Hindelang, Hirschi, & Weis, 1981; Sander & Ellickson, 1996; Smith, Visher, & Jaroura,

1991; Tracy, Wolfgang, & Figlio, 1990; Wemrner & Smith, 1992) while others have found

no difference in delinquency as a result of gender (Blumstien, Alfred, Cohen, Roth. &

Visher, 1986; Shaw & Scott. 1991). Recently, though only one in four juveniles were

female in the state of Florida during 1994-95, female juvenile crime increased at a faster

rate (55%) than male juvenile crime (23-26%) in Florida during 1994-95 (Department of

Juvenile Justice, 1996).








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Further gender difference supported by research include, the view that families of female

delinquents are more dysfunctional than families of male delinquents (Henggeler,

Edwards, & Borduin 1987) and that male delinquents are found

to be more vulnerable than girls to family risk for antisocial behavior and delinquency

(Rutter & Giller, 1983; Yashikawa, 1994; Zaslow & Hayes, 1986).

Race, for the purposes of this study was defined as the indication of Caucasian

(White), African American (Black), Hispanic or other by the respondent on the

demographic questionnaire. The focus of this review will be on findings for White and

Black adolescents because these two ethnic groups made up 95% of the available data

sample and constituted all of the reduced sample analyzed in this study.

Predictors such as low levels of family affection and high levels of family conflict

have been found to be associated with White and Black levels of general delinquency

(Doane, 1978; Gove & Crutchfield, 1982; Henggeler, 1989; Salts, Linholm, Goddard, &

Duncan, 1995; Tolan & Lorion, 1988). When considering family cohesion, dysfunctional

levels reflecting enmeshed family systems have been associated with high levels of

offending in the Black youth (Rodick, Henggeler, & Hanson, 1986) while extremely low

levels reflecting disengaged family systems have been associated with high levels of

offending for White adolescents (Tolan, 1988a). Differences in frequency rates have also

been found based on race (Elliot, Huizinga, & Ageton, 1985; Smith, Visher, & Jarjoura,

1991; Tolan & Loeber, 1993; Hindelang, Hirschi, & Weis, 1981).










For example, Elliot and Ageton (1980) and Short (1990) found significantly greater

delinquent and violent behavior for Black youth than White when utilizing police and

court data. Interestingly, self-report studies consistently have been found to reflect no

difference in delinquent behavior by race (Salts, Linholm, Goddard, & Duncan, 1995).

Adaptability, was defined as the extent to which the family system was flexible

and able to change its power structure, role relationships, and relationship rules in

response to situational and developmental stress (Olson et al., 1985). For the purposes of

this study, adaptability was determined by the adaptability score from FACES-11.

Cohesion, was defined as "the emotional bonding that family members had

towards one another" (Olson et al., 1983, p.70). Cohesion incorporates concepts of

emotional bonding, boundaries, coalitions, time, space, friends, decision making,

interests, and reaction (Olson et al., 1985). For the purposes of this study, cohesion was

determined by the cohesion score from FACES-11.

Socialmaladjustmentscale_(SM), Social maladjustment referred to a set of

attitudes associated with inadequate or disturbed socialization. Here, social

maladjustment was defined by the extent to which individuals shared attitudes of persons

who did not meet personal needs and environmental demands in socially approved ways

(Jesness, 1996, p. 5). For the purposes of this study SM was determined by the score on

the SM scale of the Jesness Personality Inventory.

Manifest-aggression scale (MA), Manifest aggression reflected an awareness of

unpleasant feelings (especially anger and frustration), a tendency to react readily with

those feelings, and discomfort concerning the presence and control of those feelings








73

(Jesness, 1996, p. 5). For the purposes of this study, MA was determined by the score on

the MA scale of the Jesness Personality Inventory.

Asocial index(AI), The asocial index reflected a generalized disposition to

resolve social or personal problems in ways that showed a disregard for social customs or

rules (Jesness, 1996, p. 6). Discriminant Function Analysis was used to create this scale

which combines scores from all the other personality scales to best distinguish

delinquents (Jesness, 1996). For the purposes of this study AI was determined through the

use of the Jesness Personality Inventory.



Hypotheses

The following is a presentation of the original hypotheses proposed and the

modified hypotheses that were tested in this study. Modifications were made to the

original hypotheses due to concerns of multicolinearity found in the original full logistic

regression model. While modifications resulted in hypotheses 4, 8, and 9 being left

untestable, the remaining hypotheses differed simply by the number of variables being

controlled during analysis.

Ho,: (Original) There is no relationship between age and rate of juvenile delinquency

as measured by number of criminal charges while holding gender, race,

adaptability, cohesion, social maladjustment, manifest aggression, and

asocial index constant.








74

(Tested)There is no relationship between age and rate of juvenile delinquency as

measured by number of criminal charges while holding gender, race,

cohesion, manifest aggression, and asocial index constant.

Ho2: (Original) There is no relationship between gender and rate of juvenile

delinquency as measured by number of criminal charges while holding

age, race, adaptability, cohesion, social maladjustment, manifest

aggression, and asocial index constant.

(Tested) There is no relationship between gender and rate of juvenile delinquency

as measured by number of criminal charges while holding age, race,

cohesion, manifest aggression, and asocial index constant.

Ho3: (Original) There is no relationship between race and rate of juvenile delinquency

as measured by number of criminal charges while holding age, gender,

adaptability, cohesion, social maladjustment, manifest aggression, and

asocial index constant.

(Tested) There is no relationship between race and rate of juvenile delinquency as

measured by number of criminal charges while holding age, gender,

cohesion, manifest aggression, and asocial index constant.

Ho4: (Original and Untestable) The relationship between family cohesion as measured

by FACES-II and rate of juvenile delinquency as measured by number of

criminal charges will not vary as a function of social maladjustment as

measured by Jesness personality inventory while holding age, gender,

race, adaptability, manifest aggression, and asocial index constant.










Ho5: (Original) The relationship between family cohesion as measured by FACES-Il

and rate of juvenile delinquency as measured by number of criminal

charges will not vary as a function of manifest aggression as measured by

Jesness personality inventory while holding age, gender, race, adaptability,

social maladjustment, and asocial index constant.

(Tested) The relationship between family cohesion as measured by FACES-11 and

rate of juvenile delinquency as measured by number of criminal charges

will not vary as a function of manifest aggression as measured by Jesness

personality inventory while holding age, gender, race, and asocial index

constant.

Ho6: (Original) The relationship between family cohesion as measured by FACES-II

and rate of juvenile delinquency as measured by number of criminal

charges will not vary as a function of asocial index as measured by Jesness

personality inventory while holding age, gender, race, adaptability, social

maladjustment, and manifest aggression constant.

(Tested) The relationship between family cohesion as measured by FACES-II and

rate of juvenile delinquency as measured by number of criminal charges

will not vary as a function of asocial index as measured by Jesness

personality inventory while holding age, gender, race, and manifest

aggression constant.








76

Ho7: (Original) The relationship between family adaptability as measured by FACES-II

and rate of juvenile delinquency as measured by number of criminal

charges will not vary as a function of social maladjustment as measured by

Jesness personality inventory while holding age, gender, race, cohesion,

manifest aggression, and asocial index constant.

(Tested) The relationship between family adaptability as measured by FACES-II

and rate of juvenile delinquency as measured by number of criminal

charges will not vary as a function of social maladjustment as measured by

Jesness personality inventory while holding age, gender, and race constant.

Ho8: (Original) The relationship between family adaptability as measured by FACES-II

and rate of juvenile delinquency as measured by number of criminal

charges will not vary as a function of manifest aggression as measured by

Jesness personality inventory while holding age, gender, race, cohesion,

social maladjustment, and asocial index constant.

(Tested) The relationship between family adaptability as measured by FACES-II

and rate of juvenile delinquency as measured by number of criminal

charges will not vary as a function of manifest aggression as measured by

Jesness personality inventory while holding age, gender, race, cohesion,

social maladjustment, and asocial index constant.










Ho9g: (Original and Untestable) The relationship between family adaptability as

measured by FACES-11 and rate of juvenile delinquency as measured by

number of criminal charges will not vary as a function of asocial index as

measured by Jesness personality inventory while holding age, gender,

race, cohesion, social maladjustment, and manifest aggression, constant.



Data-Analysis

Multinomial logistic regression was used to evaluate the significance of variance

explained in the dependent variable (rate of juvenile delinquency) by combinations of this

study's set of selected independent variables [age (A), gender (G), race (R), adaptability

(ADP), cohesion (C), social maladjustment (SM), manifest aggression (MA), and asocial

index(AI)]. Forms of multinomial regression analysis such as multinomial logistic

regression analysis are supported in the delinquency literature as statistical methods

useful in exploring multivariate models of delinquency (Farrington, 1994; Hoge,

Andrews, & Leshied, 1994; Salts, Linholm, Goddard, & Duncan, 1995; Scholte, 1992:

Tolan, 1987; Tolan & Lorion, 1988; Wasserman, Miller, Pinner, & Jaramillo, 1996). The

use of multinomial logistic regression analysis allowed the analysis of the relationships.

between the independent variables while controlling for the other independent variables

of interest. The following multinomial logistic regression model was originally purposed:


Rate of delinquency = A+G+R+C+ADP+SM+MA+AI+C,AI+ADP,AI+C,SM+C,MA+ADP,SM+ADP,MA








78

Due to discovering multi-colinearity concerns (strong correlations between certain

variables within the full original model), the full model was modified to form two

reduced multinomial logistic regressions models (Model 1 & Model 2). Model 1 was

designed to primarily address hypotheses 1, 2, 3, 5, and 6. Model 2 was run to provide

information regarding the primary nature of hypothesis 7. As stated earlier, hypotheses 4,

8, and 9 were left untestable. The following were the modified multinomial logistic

regression models run in analysis:



Model 1: Rate of delinquency = A+G+R+C+MA+AI+C,AI+C,MA

Model 2: Rate of delinquency = A+G+R+ADP+SM+ADP,SM



The following basic procedural format was followed in the analysis. Upon

discovering that the general model was significant at the a = .05 level, the conclusion was

made that at least one of the independent variables in that model of focus was related to

the dependent variable while controlling for the other independent variables. The next

step in analysis was then to review the partial logistic regression coefficients

corresponding to the hypotheses for significance at the a = .05 level. Consistent with

socio-ecological research (Bronfenbrenner, 1979), the significance of any interaction term

in one of the multinomial logistic regression models was of greatest interest. According

to Bronfenbrenner (1979), the interactional emphasis of the eco-systemic approach is due

to the theoretical view that there exists a reciprocal nature to development especially

between the proximal influences.








79

Thus, of greatest concern was the interaction terms which contained the theoretically and

empirically relevant aspects of the adolescent's personality and perception of family

functioning.

Finding a significant interaction term was interpreted as statistical evidence to

reject that term's null hypothesis (no relationship exists) and instead was seen as

statistical evidence in favor of accepting that terms alternative hypothesis that a

relationship does exist. Evidence resulting in rejecting an interaction term was interpreted

to provide statistical grounds to suggest that (at a probability greater that chance) the

answer was "yes" to the primary research question, "Does a relationship exist between an

adolescent's personality and his/her perception of family functioning across his/her rate

of delinquent offending while holding age, gender, and race constant?"

The analysis run also included multiple single variable logistic regression models

to explore the relationship between each independent variable and the dependent variable.

This multiple bivariate analysis was seen to add to the investigation of the independent

variables with the dependent variable and allowed for a comparisons between the

bivariate and the multinomial logistic regression models (1&2) which contain more

control variables.



Description of Lthe Population

The population specifically targeted for this study was adolescents involved in the

Department of Juvenile Justice system in the State of Florida who range in age between

13 and 18. The entire research sample was drawn from this group. The Department of










Juvenile Justice (DJJ) (1996) provided the following demographics for the year's total

population of delinquency cases received in the state of Florida: (a) regarding age 88%

of the cases were filed for adolescents ranging in age between 13 and 18, (b) regarding

gender 77% of all cases consisted of male adolescents and 23% consisted of female

adolescents, and (c) regarding race 57% were White, 42% were Black, and 1% were

other.



SamplingProcedures

Data were collected from two separate DJJ districts which included 16 counties

located geographically in North Central Florida. The data were collected by a private

counseling agency who specializes in counseling the juvenile delinquent population. This

agency routinely collected assessment information for the purposes of research and

treatment. All of the cases referred to this private agency for counseling were received

from the DJJ. Thus, the subjects for this study were drawn from the total data file

previously collected by this private agency during the period 4/1/96 to 8/31/96. The data

made available for this study had no identifying information to assure the confidentiality

of the subjects to be included in this study.

The questionnaires were administered during the first interview by the agency

counselors. These counselors were (at a minimum) all advanced graduate students

(beyond Master's level) in training in mental health fields at the University of Florida.

Prior to interviewing the court referred clients, each counselor received agency training in

administering the questionnaires.










The clients were verbally informed that any information used for research purposes

would have no identifying information to assure their anonymity.



Sample

The full sample available for this study was previously collected by a private

agency drawing from the 16 surrounding counties in North Central Florida between

4/1/96 to 8/31/96. Though the full sample consisted of 184 subjects, this sample was

reduced to 169 due to an insufficient number of subjects in all ethnic categories for

comparisons and some subjects falling outside the study's defined age range (13 to 18).

The reduced sample included only subjects from the White and Black ethnic groups. As

consistent with an earlier census of this private agency's clientele (Lee & Prichard, 1991),

80% of the subjects lived in families with income below poverty level as determined by

receiving AFDC/ Welfare or not.

Family structures varied from those having a single parent and one child to those

having both parents or a variation of grandparents and multiple siblings. The vast

majority lived in a non-nuclear family configuration. This wide variation in family

structure was not viewed to be of great concern due to the findings that family structure

appears to be of little significance in overall juvenile delinquency especially when

controlling for family functioning (Cemrnkovich & Giordano, 1987; Henggeler, 1989;

Lauritsen, 1993; Lorion, Tolan, & Wahlar, 1987; Rosen, 1985; Tolan et. al, 1986; Tolan

& Loeber, 1993; Tolan & Mitchell, 1989; Yoshikawa, 1994).








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The analyzed sample, was fairly representative in demographics to the year's total

population of delinquency cases received in the State of Florida: (a) regarding age, the

subjects range between 13 and 18 years old which is consistent with the majority of cases

referred to juvenile court, (b) regarding gender, 78% of subjects consist of male

adolescents and 22% consist of female adolescents, and (c) regarding race, 47% of

subjects were White and 52%were Black. The subjects range between 1 and 36 charges

with the majority of subjects ranging between 1 and 9 charges. There also appeared to

exist a sufficient number of subjects in the three levels of offending to be studied: 41

subjects are first time offenders (having only one charge), 48 subjects are multiple

offenders (having 2 to 4 charges), and 80 subjects are chronic offenders (having 5 or

more charges).



Data-Collection

The data were collected through a private counseling agency which asked referred

clients in the initial interview to complete the assessment package containing the Jesness

Personality Inventory Question (see Appendix A) and JI Answer Sheet (see Appendix E),

the Family Adaptability and Cohesion Scales (FACES-11) (see Appendix B) and a

demographic information sheet (see Appendix C). The assessment took approximately 35

to 45 minutes to complete. The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice provided

information in reference to number of charges for each subject. The identifying

information was removed and a participant code was given.








83

Each assessment package was put in its own data packet for research purposes. The data

packets were scored and analyzed by this researcher.



Instrumentation

In addition to a demographic questionnaire (Appendix C) assessing number of

charges, county, income status, gender, age, race, and current family members at home,

there were two standardized instruments relevant to this study: (a) Jesness Personality

Inventory (Appendix A & F) and (b) Family Adaptability and Cohesion Scales (FACES-

11, Appendix B).

Jesness Personality Ivrentory

The independent variables for the construct of personality in the study included,

social maladjustment (SM), manifest aggression (MA), and asocial index (AI). These

were measured by the Jesness Personality Inventory (JI). The original version of the JI

was developed as part of the Fricot Ranch Study in California (Jesness, 1965, 1971)

which was a five-year project whose goal was to evaluate the effectiveness of an

intensive institutional treatment program for young male delinquents. The study was

sponsored by the Rosenburg Foundation through a grant to the California State Youth

Authority. The original norming and validation studies were based on a sample of 970

male delinquents and 1,075 male nondelinquents between the ages of 8 and 18, and on a

sample of 450 female delinquents and nondelinquents ranging in age from 11 to 18. All

delinquents were adjudicated, and most were awaiting placement in California Youth

Authority (CYA) institutions. The nondelinquent sample was obtained at 10 public








84

schools in northern California (Jesness, 1996). In the early 1960s, the JI was modified so

that it could be used with older male adolescents (Jesness, 1962, 1963), and further

revised in 1972 making the instrument appropriate for use with adults and for females

(Jesness, 1983). The most recent changes to content were made in 1986 (Jesness, 1996).

The JI is an easily administered 155 item true-false inventory written at the third

grade reading level (Sorensen & Johnson, 1996). It is useful in identifying personality

characteristics of delinquents. The JI is multidimensional in that it provides age-normed T

scores on ten of eleven personality characteristics and a graphic profile that illustrates

various personality types. It also provides a single index (AI) of personality tendencies

predictive of social and personality problems (Martin & Murphy, 1993). Three

personality characteristics are criterion referenced trait scales (social maladjustment,

value oriented, and immaturity) and seven are cluster analyzed personality scales (autism,

alienation, manifest aggression, withdrawal-depression, social anxiety, repression, and

denial) and one (asocial index) is a composite personality index derived from

discriminant analysis to predict level of delinquency status utilizing all the other scale

scores (Jesness & Wedge, 1983).

The JI has been supported by many research findings in the field as a valid and

reliable instrument for distinguishing among delinquents via personality characteristics

(Jesness, 1996). While general support for reliability and validity will be reviewed, focus

will be give to the SM, MA and AI scales due to their use in this study. Jesness (1996)

reports a test-retest (8 months) reliability of .79 for SM and .76 for MA based on a

sample of 131 delinquents ages 14 to 21. Wright and Jesness (1981) reported a test-retest










reliability (one week) of .74 for AI. Note was made in the Jesness Inventory manual

manual (Jesness, 1996) regarding concern for the test-retest reliability for AI on children

below 15 for long periods of time. Regarding alpha reliabilities, Le Blanc, Mcduff,

Charlebois, Gagnon, & Tremblay, (1991) reported .90 for SM and .82 for MA. Further,

exploring the ability to falsify JI responses, the JI was administered to 57 delinquents at a

CYA reception center under the instructions that the findings would be solely for research

purposes (honest run). The next day the JI was given again with the instructions that the

findings would be used to judge the kids with the goal to encourage them to answer in a

way favorable for themselves (fake good run). Results revealed fairly stable scores with

some variation in SM, but no change in over all composite AI score (Jesness, 1996).

According to Le Blanc (1990), the concurrent, discriminant, and predictive

validity of the JI scales were controlled on a sample of 6,604 adolescents between the

ages of 10 and 18. Most of the scales correlated higher with scales of their domain than

with scales from another domain, most of the scales discriminated between past, actual

and subsequent self-reported delinquency and problem behaviors, and, finally, that most

of them distinguished between presence or absence of official delinquency and adult

criminality. Similarly, a review by Quay (1987) provides considerable evidence

supporting the concurrent, convergent, and predictive validity of the JI. Quay's review

includes numerous findings reported by Baker and Spielberg (1970), Cowden, Peterson

and Patch (1969), Graham (1981), Martin (1981), Saunders and Davis (1976), Vallance

and Forrest (1971) and Yiannakis (1976). Quay (1987) concluded that the JI promises to

represent a valuable addition to the delinquency research's armamentarium.








86

In general, the bulk of the research on the JI is in the area of differentiating groups

of delinquents. For instance, Cowden, Peterson, and Pacht (1969), found the JI cores

differentiated well-adjusted from poorly adjusted youth within an institution; Stott and

Olczak (1978) showed that JI scales differentiated juvenile delinquents from status

offenders; Sauders and Davis (1976) found that certain sub scales differentiated between

institutionalized delinquents and probationers; Graham (1981) found that consistently

higher AI scores distinguished among levels of offending (first offense, 2 offences, more

than 2) and found the AI predicted who of the first time offenders would re-offend in a

one year follow up; Martin (1981) found that consistently higher AI, SM, VO, AU, MA

and DEN scores distinguished among levels of institutionalized delinquents (those

formally adjudicated by the court system for two or more charges and those not formally

charged) and a socially acting out noninstitutionalized control group; and finally Kunce

and Hemphill (1983) investigated the validity implications of the JI for 1,122

institutionalized male adolescent delinquents and found that AI, SM, AU, and MA

correlated positively with frequency of prior arrests and number of previous

institutionalizations. Consistent with a review conducted by Quay (1987), the results of

this review of the Jesness Inventory found ample support for the use of the JI for research,

diagnostic purposes and the general assessment of adohscent social maladjustment.

Administration of the JI requires a question booklet (Appendix A), an answer

sheet (Appendix E) and a pencil. Currently there is available a "QuickScore Form" which

illuminates the need for the scoring stencils (Jesness, 1996). The traditional method was

used in the collection of the available data for this study. Respondents were asked to read










the question sheet and fill in the appropriate true or false response on the answer sheet.

Emphasis was made to assure they knew there are no right or wrong answers.

The traditional method for scoring was used as opposed to the recently released

QuickScore Form method. To traditionally score the test requires (1) a set of ten scoring

stencils; (2) a set of norms for males and females of all ages; and (3) profile sheets (see

Appendix F). The scales were scored by placing stencils over the answer sheet. Raw

scores were obtained by totaling the number of marked responses that showed through

the stencils for each scale. These totals were written in the proper spaces on the answer

sheet. The raw score for each subject was then transferred to the profile sheet. The

Asocial Index was obtained using the computational box on the reverse side of the profile

sheet. The AI was derived by utilizing the conversion table of the profile sheet to finding

the various weighted scores based on the required JI scale raw scores. The next step was

to determine the T scores by locating the T-score equivalent of each raw score in the

manual tables matching the subjects age and sex. The AI score was found by taking the

raw AI score and matching it in the manual table to gain the converted score. These

converted scores were then plotted on the profile sheet. Due to the current study not

utilizing the 1 Level Classification, the I Level Classification scoring process will not be

reviewed.

EamilyAdaptability and CohesionScales(FACES-II)

The independent variables of cohesion and adaptability were measured by

FACES-11. The original version was developed by Olson, Russell, and Sprenkle in 1979

as an outgrowth of their Circumplex Model of Marital and Family Systems. Using factor