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*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

That parental offending acts as a strong risk factor for offending in children is well-established within criminology. Yet research on maternal offending is relatively limited, even though 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 maternal transmission of offending among a cohort of twelve-year olds,using self-report data from the longitudinal Growing Up in Scotland study. The analysis shows that intragenerational maternal offending acts as a significant predictor of offending amongst daughters, but intergenerational offending does not. However, we find no significant relationship between mothers’ offending and sons’, who appear more vulnerable to a range of wider risk factors.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages18
JournalCriminology and Criminal Justice
Early online date18 Nov 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 18 Nov 2021

Keywords

  • intergenerational transmission
  • maternal offending
  • child offending
  • Growing Up in Scotland
  • childhood inequality

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