Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School of Social Work


The purpose of this study was to determine the extent to which insecure attachment formation and the laissez-faire of authoritarian parenting style predict violent or general delinquent behaviors in preadolescent youths. The present study analyzes archival data from the first wave of a longitudinal study on delinquent behaviors. Two hundred six male and female sixth grade students were surveyed. A correlation design was used to determine predictors of violent and general delinquent behaviors among these preadolescent youths. Regression analysis was used to determine which predictor offered the best explanation of violent and delinquent behavior. It was found that for boys and girls, insecure attachment was indeed significantly correlated with violent and general delinquent behaviors. However, parenting styles was not at all correlated with those behaviors in boys. Conversely, for girls, regression analysis indicated that the Laissez-faire parenting style was a more significant predictor of violent and general delinquent behaviors. These findings are important in that they may be used to help design programs to abate the rising tide of delinquency and violence among preadolescent youths. The results of this study indicate the need for parental involvment in such programs.