NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by Deborah A. Cobb-Clark

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Working Papers

October 2011Fathers and Youth's Delinquent Behavior
with Erdal Tekin: w17507
This paper analyzes the relationship between having one or more father figures and the likelihood that young people engage in delinquent criminal behavior. We pay particular attention to distinguishing the roles of residential and non-residential, biological fathers as well as stepfathers. Using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, we find that adolescent boys engage in more delinquent behavior if there is no father figure in their lives. However, adolescent girls' behavior is largely independent of the presence (or absence) of their fathers. The strong effect of family structure is not explained by the lack of paternal involvement that generally comes with fathers’ absence, even though adolescents, especially boys, who spend time doing things with their fathers ...

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