Question Details

(solution) Journal of Quantitatie Criminology, Vol. 18, No. 2, June 2002 (


Hello, this is a research methods paper. It requires an analysis of the theories used in the attached research paper and for these theories to be compared to the same theories in another paper of your choosing. The guidelines are in the word document that is also attached. Thank you for your help and I can clarify any questions or misunderstanding that you may have. I do understand what the assignment requires but I am pressed for time so would appreciate the help with the ground work.

Thank you.


Journal of Quantitatiûe Criminology, Vol. 18, No. 2, June 2002 ( 2002) Growing Up Poor: Examining the Link between

 

Persistent Childhood Poverty and Delinquency

 

G. Roger Jarjoura,1 Ruth A. Triplett,2 and Gregory P. Brinker3 Findings from aggregate-level and ethnographic research suggest that poverty and

 

delinquency are related. The inability of individual-level quantitative research to

 

demonstrate consistent evidence of this relationship, however, has been used to call

 

into question whether poverty is indeed related to an increased propensity for delinquent involvement. This may be due to the difficulty individual-level analyses have

 

in identifying the group most important in uncovering the relationship of poverty

 

to delinquency?those individuals that experience persistent childhood poverty.

 

This paper provides an assessment of the effects of both the level of exposure to

 

poverty and its timing on delinquent involvement using fourteen years of longitudinal data for a national sample of younger adolescents. Findings indicate that exposure to poverty and the timing of such exposure are indeed related to an increased

 

likelihood of involvement in delinquency.

 

KEY WORDS: delinquency; poverty; persistent poor; tobit; longitudinal data. 1. INTRODUCTION

 

We are currently realizing a deepening of poverty for American children, both in terms of the number of children in poverty and in the intensity

 

of the poverty they are experiencing. In terms of the numbers of children in

 

poverty, data shows that nearly 21% of the nation?s children are from families living in poverty?about twice that of most other industrialized countries

 

(Huston et al., 1994). For 1995, that means that there are approximately

 

15.3 million U.S. children living in households defined as falling below the

 

poverty line (Duncan et al., 1998). The percentage of children living in poverty has remained constant during the 1990s, but the number of children

 

has increased. The increasing depth of poverty for American children is

 

shown not only in this change but also in dramatic changes in the nature of

 

1 School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, 801 West Michigan Street, Room 4066, Indianapolis, IN 46202?5152.

 

2

 

Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA 23529.

 

3

 

Marion County Justice Agency, 200 East Washington Street, Indianapolis, IN 46204.

 

159

 

0748-4518?02?0600-0159?0 2002 Plenum Publishing Corporation 160 Jarjoura, Triplett, and Brinker poverty. Children in poverty are increasingly concentrated in impoverished

 

and underclass neighborhoods (Greenwood, 1995).

 

Concern about the number of children living in poverty arises from our

 

knowledge of the problems children face because of poverty. Since the

 

1960s, developmental research has examined the effects of poverty on IQ,

 

social adjustment, self-esteem, depression, and other types of maladaptive

 

behaviors as mediated by such factors as parenting, home environment,

 

family structure, immediate resources and more recently, school, child care,

 

and neighborhood (Huston et al., 1994). In each case, poverty has been

 

shown to have detrimental effects.

 

Whether we find evidence that poverty is related to delinquency, however, depends on the type of research employed. Ethnographic studies link

 

poverty to delinquency and crime, along with such factors as persistent

 

unemployment, marital disruption, female-headed households, and teenage

 

pregnancy (Anderson, 1993; Hannerz, 1969; Liebow, 1967; Rainwater,

 

1970; Sullivan, 1993; Suttles, 1968). Ethnographic research tends to focus

 

on a relatively small group within a relatively limited context, however,

 

and so is unable to convincingly rule out rival hypotheses for a poverty?

 

delinquency relationship. Empirical research at the aggregate-level has also

 

amassed evidence that chronic and persistent poverty leads to crime (Currie,

 

1985; Hagan and Peterson, 1995; Jencks, 1992; Krivo and Peterson, 1996;

 

Sampson and Wilson, 1995; Wilson, 1987). The results of aggregate-level

 

studies, however, are not often taken by many as convincing evidence of a

 

causal relationship (Jencks, 1992) or as useful in explaining the nature of

 

the relationship: ??when a relationship is found using aggregated data, the

 

etiology, characteristics, and behavior associated with that relationship cannot be specifically detailed or easily understood (Sa´ nchez Jankowski,

 

1995:93).??

 

The most convincing evidence that poverty causes delinquency would,

 

therefore, necessarily be based on individual-level quantitative analyses.

 

Yet, such investigations provide the least support for a relationship between

 

poverty and crime (Sa´ nchez Jankowski, 1995; Tittle and Meier, 1990). In

 

general, such research efforts have led to the conclusion that poverty

 

accounts for little of the variation in delinquent involvement. Yet, individuallevel quantitative analyses have been the least effective of these three

 

approaches at identifying the group which criminological theory suggests is

 

the most important?individuals who grew up in conditions of persistent

 

poverty (see Farnworth et al., 1994).

 

This paper provides an individual-level analysis of the effect of poverty

 

on delinquent involvement using a national sample of adolescents. The

 

analysis is specifically designed to go beyond past analyses by identifying

 

those youths growing up in persistent poverty, indicating the stage of life Growing Up Poor 161 that poverty was experienced, and finally, exploring the factors that mediate

 

the effect of poverty on delinquent behavior. The paper begins with a review

 

of prior research on the relationship between poverty and delinquency.

 

Next, the most recent research on the dynamics of poverty is reviewed. The

 

results of the analysis are then presented, followed by a discussion of the

 

findings and conclusions.

 

2. POVERTY AND DELINQUENCY: THEORETICAL AND

 

EMPIRICAL FOUNDATIONS

 

Criminological theories, such as strain (Cloward and Ohlin, 1960;

 

Cohen 1955; Merton, 1938) and subcultural (Miller, 1958), focused on the

 

relationship of class to crime, emphasizing crime among the lower class.

 

Though lower-class status is not necessarily synonymous with poverty, this

 

literature has been drawn upon to make predictions about the relationship

 

of poverty to delinquency. Specifically, these theories predict the existence

 

of a causal relationship, with the effect of poverty mediated by a variety of

 

factors. For example, strain theorists suggest that the connection between

 

poverty and delinquency is based in the experiences of lower class boys that

 

range from lack of preparation for school and the subsequent performance

 

in school (Cohen, 1955) to differential access to legitimate and illegitimate

 

opportunities (Cloward and Ohlin, 1960). According to these theories, delinquency results as the boys attempt to adapt to the strain caused by these

 

lower-class experiences. Miller?s (1958) subcultural theory points to the

 

structural and cultural differences arising from the isolation of the lower

 

class to explain delinquent behavior. According to this theory, boys growing

 

up in female-headed households search for status and belonging among

 

their peers. Delinquency results among these boys because lower-class

 

values, or focal concerns, encourage behaviors defined as deviant by middleclass standards. From this argument, we might predict that peer influence,

 

family structure, and family interaction are important mediating influences

 

on the relationship between poverty and delinquency.

 

Beyond recognizing a causal relationship between poverty and delinquency that is mediated by a wide variety of factors, theorists such as Cohen

 

and Miller recognized that not everyone who can be identified as poor at

 

one point in time has the same experience of poverty. They recognized this

 

difference in experience in their focus on two important characteristics of

 

poverty?its persistence and its timing. The importance of capturing the

 

persistent poor is emphasized by Farnworth et al. (1994). They argue that

 

criminological theories focusing on class and crime ??imply that the lifestyle

 

and life changes associated with the deprivations of persistent poûerty provide motivations for lower-class crime?? (Farnworth et al., 1994; emphasis 162 Jarjoura, Triplett, and Brinker added). Also important in understanding the relationship of poverty to

 

crime is the timing of poverty, or when during the individual?s life poverty

 

occurred. Though none of these theorists clearly spell out the importance

 

of timing, implicit in their work is the idea that most people who become

 

involved in crime do so early in life. Thus, if poverty is important in explaining criminality it must be experienced while the individual is growing up.

 

Among the types of research examining the association between poverty and delinquency, ethnographic research provides the most consistent

 

evidence linking poverty to delinquency (Anderson, 1990; Sa´ nchez Jankowski, 1991; Sullivan, 1989; Williams and Kornblum, 1985). Ethnographies

 

are also rich sources of information on the processes through which poverty

 

is associated with delinquency. In particular, they give us another source

 

for understanding those factors that might well mediate the effect of poverty

 

on delinquency. Many of the processes support the theoretical positions of

 

strain and subcultural theories. For example, Sa´ nchez Jankowski (1995) has

 

described the motives for delinquent involvement of those people living in

 

poverty. First, for many people living in poverty, crime is seen as the only

 

opportunity for achieving a higher level of socioeconomic status. Second,

 

some people living in poverty turn to crime as a means of surviving, and at

 

a minimum, maintaining their current economic status (see also Wilson,

 

1987). Third, many people living in poverty, especially adolescents, resort

 

to delinquency to enhance their financial ability to have fun (see also

 

Agnew, 1992). Finally, for those living in poverty, respect and honor

 

become cherished ??possessions?? in the absence of material possessions. As

 

a result, the individual is often prepared to take whatever means are necessary to protect his or her respect and honor, an argument consistent with

 

the theoretical discussions of Miller (1958).

 

More generally, a number of ethnographic studies have contributed to

 

our understanding of how living in poverty creates persistent problems that

 

may well mediate the effect of poverty and have been related to delinquent

 

activity (see Thornberry et al., 1995). For example, a fairly common theme

 

in these studies is the disruption of the family and the absence of the father

 

(Anderson, 1993; Hannerz, 1969; Liebow, 1967; Rainwater, 1970; Sullivan,

 

1993)?factors which are central to Miller?s subcultural theory. Hannerz

 

(1969) attributes the prevalence of female-headed households to structural

 

constraints in legitimate opportunities for men and the existence of a

 

??ghetto-specific?? male role which values such items as sexual exploits,

 

toughness, ability to command respect and concern for personal appearance. Rainwater (1970) describes the peer support that can encourage the

 

creation of situations in which the mother is head of the household and the

 

father is absent. Whether viewed as a separate culture, independent from Growing Up Poor 163 the dominant culture (Miller, 1958), or as an adaptation of dominant culture values and behaviors to structural conditions (Hannerz, 1969; Liebow,

 

1967; Rainwater, 1970; Suttles, 1968), these studies view the ghetto and the

 

lower class as distinct from the middle class in ways that contribute to social

 

problems such as crime and delinquency.

 

Despite the depth of understanding we get from ethnographic research,

 

the strongest empirical evidence that poverty is related to crime emerges

 

from aggregate-level analyses. These analyses, though usually not involving

 

longitudinal data, are able to distinguish the poorest areas through use of

 

area-level economic indicators. In her review of this research, FigueiraMcDonough (1992) concludes that ??widespread poverty within a community has been found to be a powerful predictor of delinquency?? (see also

 

Curry and Spergel, 1988; Shichor et al., 1979; Taylor and Covington, 1988).

 

Ludwig et al. (1998) found violent delinquency to be more likely in the

 

poorest communities. They also found that by moving to a more affluent

 

neighborhood, the probability of engaging in violence declined. Hagan and

 

Peterson (1995) cite evidence of the link between street crime and concentrated poverty in urban locales from epidemiological studies. Currie (1985)

 

builds an argument that poverty is a cause of crime by considering evidence

 

of a link between economic inequality and crime. He examines the differences in crime rates between cities and even countries based on differences

 

in levels of economic inequality. More recently, Fowles and Merva (1996)

 

examined data for major metropolitan areas in the U.S. over the period

 

from 1975 to 1990, and found that the percent of the population living in

 

poverty was consistently related to crime, regardless of crime type. Krivo

 

and Peterson (1996) found that in neighborhoods characterized by ??extreme

 

disadvantage,?? violent crime was particularly more likely to occur.

 

In trying to uncover the causal mechanisms linking poverty and crime

 

at an aggregate level, researchers have pointed to unemployment (Land et

 

al., 1995), family disruption (Sampson, 1987), and informal social control

 

(Elliott et al., 1996; Sampson, 1997) as likely mediating factors. Other

 

researchers have pointed to the devastating effects of concentrating minorities and the impoverished in urban communities (Hagan and Peterson,

 

1995; Sampson and Wilson, 1995; Wilson, 1987). In his historical analysis

 

of murder rates, Jencks (1992) shows that the most likely cause of increases

 

in the violent crime rates is the segregation of blacks with regard to occupational and legitimate opportunities. Hagan and Peterson (1995) further

 

propose that the segregation of racial minorities in sections of concentrated

 

poverty contributes to inferior educational and employment opportunities,

 

which, in turn, enhance the likelihood of crime and delinquency. Sampson

 

and Wilson (1995) theorize that the concentration of poverty, family disruption, and residential instability in black urban communities results in what 164 Jarjoura, Triplett, and Brinker they refer to as ??structural social disorganization?? and ??cultural social isolation,?? both of which contribute to higher levels of crime.

 

Individual-level analyses of the effect of poverty on delinquency have

 

provided far less consistent results linking poverty to delinquency than

 

those uncovered by aggregate-level and ethnographic analyses. Inconsistent

 

results are evident even when attempts are made to distinguish different

 

levels of poverty. For example, Johnson (1980) conducted an explicit test of

 

the idea that underclass measures are more likely to be related to delinquency than traditional measures of social class. His measure of underclass

 

was a composite of information on total family income, receipt of welfare

 

or unemployment compensation, whether the parents had graduated from

 

college, and whether the parents held white-collar jobs. Johnson found no

 

evidence of a class?delinquency relationship, regardless of the way in which

 

class was operationalized. In contrast, Brown (1984) considered three different measures of social class and found that receipt of welfare was most

 

strongly and consistently related to criminal involvement. Similarly, Ouston

 

(1984) operationalized poverty as the receipt of free school meals and found

 

that poverty was significantly related to delinquency. Brownfield (1986)

 

found that poverty, as measured by combining information on receipt of

 

welfare and unemployment of the father, was related to violent crime in one

 

data set, but he was unable to replicate this result in another data set. In a

 

review of these studies, Tittle and Meier concluded that the findings, as a

 

whole, were ??problematic?? and did not ??unambiguously specify an SES?

 

delinquency relationship?? (1990: 274?275).

 

More recently, however, Farnworth et al. (1994) made a substantial

 

contribution to the literature in their test of the idea that the relationship

 

between delinquency and class is strongest when class is measured in such

 

a way that it captures a persistent experience of poverty. Their measure of

 

persistent poverty incorporates information from over a two-year period on

 

whether the household qualified as being below the poverty level, whether

 

the principal wage earner was unemployed, and whether the family received

 

welfare benefits. Results of their analysis indicated that persistent poverty

 

had a strong and consistent impact on more serious forms of delinquency

 

(Farnworth et al., 1994).

 

There are many reasons why ethnographic and aggregate-level research

 

would find more consistent evidence of a relationship between poverty and

 

delinquency than empirical analyses at the individual level. One reason, in

 

particular, structures the examination in this paper. Ethnographies and

 

aggregate-level analyses have been better in the past at capturing the persistent poor and individuals that experienced poverty during childhood. Ethnographies examining poverty and crime are better at capturing long-term

 

poor because the researchers can choose as their subjects neighborhoods Growing Up Poor 165 and individuals that are persistently poor. With aggregate-level analyses,

 

researchers can focus on areas characterized by poverty.

 

Individual-level analyses have not in the past captured the persistent

 

poor very well. This is due primarily to the fact that poverty or class tends

 

to be measured at only one point in time. Without longitudinal data, it is

 

difficult to identify the persistent poor. In addition, samples are typically

 

random samples of some general population. Estimates from research on

 

poverty point to only between 2?5% of the population as being persistently

 

poor (Duncan, 1984; Wilson, 1987). Thus, we would only expect very small

 

numbers in the average criminological sample to fit the description of persistent poor. For instance, Brown (1984) would have fewer than 5 out of

 

110 subjects in this category. Similarly, fewer than 35 from a sample of 734

 

in Johnson?s (1980) study would actually be persistent poor, as would fewer

 

than 115 from the 2300C subjects in the study by Ouston (1984). The lack

 

of adequate representation of the persistent poor in criminological research

 

is important in that it is this group that, at least implicitly, criminological

 

theories are referring to when they discuss the effect of poverty on

 

delinquency.

 

This reading of the criminological literature raises three interesting

 

questions that the literature on the nature of poverty might well shed light

 

on. First, just how distinct a group of poor are the persistent poor? If criminological theory is right then the persistent poor should be distinct in a

 

variety of ways from the short-term poor. Second, the follow-up question

 

is how important is it to have longitudinal data to identify them? Finally,

 

is there reason to believe that the timing of poverty is important in understanding the relationship of poverty to delinquency? In the next section of

 

the paper we examine the literature on the nature of poverty for guidance

 

in our examination of these issues.

 

3. THE PERSISTENT POOR AND THE TIMING OF POVERTY

 

Criminological investigations into the relationship between poverty and

 

delinquency have rarely considered the dynamics of poverty. Nor do most

 

criminological researchers draw upon the vast literature that now exists on

 

poverty in America to inform their analyses of delinquency. Yet, even a

 

cursory reading of the poverty literature shows quite clearly what strain and

 

subcultural theories suggest: that there are considerable differences among

 

the poor by level of exposure.

 

Understanding the importance of distinguishing the poor by level of

 

exposure begins with the recognition that there is a dual nature to poverty

 

in America (Bane and Ellwood, 1986). The concept of a ??dual nature to

 

poverty?? refers to the fact that while there are a substantial number of 166 Jarjoura, Triplett, and Brinker people living in persistent, long-term poverty, many people, including children, experience only short-term poverty. For example, Duncan and Rodgers (1988) found that one-third of all children experience poverty in at least

 

one year of their life, while only 1 in 20 experience ten or more years. In

 

fact, most spells of poverty are quite short?nearly 45% ending within one

 

year, 70% end within three years and only 12% last ten or more years (Bane

 

and Ellwood, 1989). Further, research shows that those who can be categorized as the short-term poor are not very different in their characteristics

 

from the general population. Research does find, however, that the longerterm poor are more likely to come from African-American and femaleheaded households, and that poverty is more persistent in the South and in

 

rural areas (Duncan, 1984). Those in poverty at any particular moment,

 

then, are not a homogeneous group. They consist of the ??long and short

 

term poor, less and more serious conditions and of families of quite different

 

characteristics?? (Bane and Ellwood, 1989).

 

The literature on the nature of poverty also points to other differences

 

important in understanding the causes of persistent vs. short-term poverty.

 

These differences can be found, for example, in the conceptualization and

 

analysis of spells of poverty. Bane and Ellwood (1986, 1989) conceptualize

 

a spell of poverty as beginning in the first year that income is below the

 

poverty line after having been above it, and ending when income is above

 

the poverty line after having been below it. They report that the duration

 

of a poverty spell is related to the cause of the spell. The shortest spells are

 

those that begin when children move out of their parents? house and set up

 

their own household. Changes in income levels of the head of household

 

and other family members contribute to relatively short spells of poverty.

 

The longest spells are found in households headed by females.

 

More recent analyses of exits from poverty confirm exit rates are higher

 

for households headed by white males and much lower for those headed by

 

black females (Stevens, 1994). Stevens also reports that from 1970?1987,

 

mobility into and out of poverty decreased, with the declines being concentrated among female-headed households. Stevens found that these same

 

households are more likely to experience repeated spells of poverty.

 

Recognition of the dual nature of poverty?with many experiencing

 

only short spells of poverty?leads to the hypothesis that the effects of poverty vary by the duration of poverty. Research in this area has provided

 

evidence that the effects of poverty increase as the duration in poverty

 

increases (see, for example, Corcoran et al., 1992; Duncan et al., 1994; Garrett et al., 1994; Haveman et al., 1991). A study that illustrates well the

 

findings in this area is that carried out by Duncan and his colleagues (1994).

 

They examined the impact of persistent poverty on a sample of children at

 

age five, and found empirical support for their hypothesis that length of Growing Up Poor 167 time in poverty mattered even among children as young as five. They found

 

that even though occasional poverty was significantly related to all of their

 

outcome measures?cognitive functioning (as measured by IQ), behavioral

 

functioning (as measured by the revised Child Behavior Profile) and health

 

status???the estimated effect of transitory poverty is not as large as the

 

estimated effect of persistent poverty?? (Duncan et al., 1994; 307).

 

The timing of poverty has also been shown to be important. BrooksGunn et al. (1997) argue that the effect of poverty is likely to vary (in degree

 

and in mechanism) by stage of childhood in which it is experienced. They

 

propose four distinct periods to differentiate between based on the transitions and role changes which occur at each stage: the prenatal?infancy

 

period, early childhood (ages 2?5), middle childhood (ages 6?10), and late

 

childhood?adolescence (over 10 years). The effect of poverty at different

 

stages in a child?s life has only recently been the subject of scholarly

 

research.

 

In a 1998 review of this literature, Duncan et al. draw three important

 

conclusions. Firstly, they conclude the timing of poverty does matter. Secondly, they find that poverty in early childhood is most important. ??Family

 

economic conditions in early and middle childhood appeared to be far more

 

important for shaping ability and achievement than were economic conditions during adolescence?? (Duncan et al., 1998: 408). Finally, the literature thus far indicates that poverty has less of a relationship to behavioral

 

outcomes than to achievement and abi...

 


Solution details:

Pay using PayPal (No PayPal account Required) or your credit card . All your purchases are securely protected by .
SiteLock

About this Question

STATUS

Answered

QUALITY

Approved

DATE ANSWERED

Sep 13, 2020

EXPERT

Tutor

ANSWER RATING

GET INSTANT HELP/h4>

We have top-notch tutors who can do your essay/homework for you at a reasonable cost and then you can simply use that essay as a template to build your own arguments.

You can also use these solutions:

  • As a reference for in-depth understanding of the subject.
  • As a source of ideas / reasoning for your own research (if properly referenced)
  • For editing and paraphrasing (check your institution's definition of plagiarism and recommended paraphrase).
This we believe is a better way of understanding a problem and makes use of the efficiency of time of the student.

NEW ASSIGNMENT HELP?

Order New Solution. Quick Turnaround

Click on the button below in order to Order for a New, Original and High-Quality Essay Solutions. New orders are original solutions and precise to your writing instruction requirements. Place a New Order using the button below.

WE GUARANTEE, THAT YOUR PAPER WILL BE WRITTEN FROM SCRATCH AND WITHIN A DEADLINE.

Order Now