Like mother, like child? Sex differences in the maternal transmission of offending among a Scottish cohort of pre-adolescent children

Babak Jahanshahi, Susan McVie, Kath Murray

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Abstract

That parental offending acts as a strong risk factor for offending in children is well-established within criminology. Yet research on the effects of prior maternal offending is relatively limited, despite the fact that many women take on a significantly higher share of childcare responsibilities, and as such, might reasonably be expected to exert an especially strong influence on their children. In part, this lacuna might be attributed to a male-centric lens within criminology, which has tended to overlook female offending. Aimed in part at redressing this imbalance, this paper investigates the intergenerational transmission of maternal offending among a cohort of Scottish twelve-year olds, using self-report data from the longitudinal Growing Up in Scotland study. The analysis shows that prior maternal offending can act as a significant predictor of offending in daughters, but not in sons, who are appear more vulnerable to a range of contemporaneous risk factors.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCriminology and Criminal Justice
Early online date18 Nov 2021
DOIs
Publication statusEarly online date - 18 Nov 2021

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