Youth Perspectives on Their Mother's Influence and Their Relationship Among Crime-Involved African-American Male Youth
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Publisher:The Ohio State University
Series/Report no.:The Ohio State University. Department of Human Development and Family Science Honors Theses; 2009
Abstract This study analyzed young urban African-American, crime-involved males’ perspectives on their relationships with their mothers both now, and also when they were growing up and how that relationship affected them. Using a subsample of 67 qualitative interviews with youth from the New York City Youth Violence Study dataset originally collected by HDFS faculty member, Dr. Deanna Wilkinson, we explored mother-son relationships in terms of discipline, parenting styles, warmth and caring, and thoughts about their mothers. The subsample consisted of 67 adolescent males who were raised in households headed by single mothers. From these interviews, we explored the sons’ perspectives on their relationship with their mothers, and this helped answer the following questions: What influence did their mothers have on them? What types of mothering/parenting styles do young, African-American, crime-involved males describe? Does the socialization passed on by the mothers influence their criminal activities? This research will contribute to the field of Human Development and Family Science and Criminal Justice by looking at the relationship between the mother and son, and the possible parenting influences on youth outcomes. Hopefully this research will help provide some context for understanding the mother-son relationship and limits of what mothers can do in preventing their son’s involvement in delinquency and crime in high crime neighborhoods.