Good parents, bad parents: Rethinking family involvement in juvenile justice

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


This article proposes a new theoretical model for studying family involvement in youth delinquency cases in juvenile court. It argues that before we can assess the family’s effect on case outcomes, we must first have a clearer understanding about the process by which family involvement is formed to consider the myriad factors that go beyond the idea of a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ parent. Based on qualitative data on families in New York City Family Court, this article shows how family involvement is not a predetermined factor but rather, the result of the institutional process itself as shaped by the family’s interactions with court staff as well as the youths’ behaviors and interactions with parents and staff.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)307-323
Number of pages17
JournalTheoretical Criminology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Family involvement
  • juvenile delinquency
  • juvenile justice
  • parental accountability
  • parental involvement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law


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