Parents’ Role in Youth Probation


Parents can play a crucial role in the juvenile justice system as various studies suggest that the influence of parents and children’s education contributes to the development of the behavior that leads to the juvenile offense. An investigation of the issue in the relationships between juvenile and a parent may decrease the youth’s rate of repeat offenses. Hence, the statement of the research is: “Does social work with parents of juvenile offenders on probation decrease the youth’s rate of repeat offenses?”

Explanation of Research Topic and Statement of Research Question

Crime theories help to gain a better understanding of the motives of the behavior among juveniles. Such knowledge can be used to investigate issues associated with the parents participating in the youth’s probation. For instance, labeling theory of crime supports the necessity of parents’ interference into the youth probation as it can help to decrease a deviant behavior recurrence. According to Bernburg (2019), labeling theory of crime states that individuals who are labeled as deviant ones may start adopting dominant stereotypes toward themselves, especially if the officer labels them. Such thinking can increase the risk factor of the behavior to become stable and chronic, which may lead to the recurrence of the offense. Hence, it raises the risk for future criminal behavior even though the causes and conditions of the deviant behavior may vary. Interference of the parents into the process of youth probation may break the chain of the events where juveniles make the connection in their brain that creates stereotypes. Communication and continuous support hope to decrease the likelihood of deviant behavior repetition.

Computer hacking became a prevalent form of offense in recent years, which initiated a need to review self-control theory and social bonding theory by which scholars aim to explain such behavior. According to Back, Soor, and LaPrade (2018), the self-control theory assumes that “all individuals are self-interested and inclined to commit a crime when the opportunity arises” (p. 43). Therefore, no matter what place or culture an individual comes from, low self-control leads to the delinquent act as the rational person weights potential pleasure from act and against the potential pain of the act. (Back, Soor, & LaPrade, 2018). The consequences that the theory carries are necessary to consider in the research as it allows discovering the mechanism of low self-control among juveniles. Such an understanding can help to educate parents so they can involve in a more meaningful interaction.

Social bonding theory is another theory that focuses on the recurrence of the offenses among juveniles. The theory states that weak ties to conventional society lead to antisocial behavior, which increases the risk of deviant behavior. The social bond consists of four elements, and the first refers to the emotional connection with valuable people. The family bond is an essential element that makes an individual holistic, which corresponds to the findings that relate parents’ attitude and criminal rate, stating that positive attitude shows low deviant behavior. Study of Vidal and Woolard (2017) proves the importance of the investigation of the parents’ role in juvenile crime as they found that high parental support and a positive attitude decreases technical violations and delinquent offenses.

Summary of Literature Review

The literature review aims to show how parents can both positively and negatively affect a child’s behavior and either contribute or refrain from deviant behavior. The first part of the review presents studies that show how crucial the situation in the family is, and how parents can contribute to the improvement of the situation with the crime rates among juveniles nowadays. The review refers to the Haqanee, Peterson-Badali, and Skilling (2015) study, which finds that an uncaring attitude increases the risk of repeat juvenile offense. Along with the Vidal and Woolard (2017) findings who use the opposite approach in the discovery of the parents’ influence on a child’s behavior, it reveals that parental support decreases the deviant behavior among juveniles.

The literature review also considers the knowledge and experience parents should obtain to participate in the probation. The enthusiasm itself is not enough, which has been supported by various studies that were conducted. Scholars suggest implementing a system where not only parents but also professionals will be involved. Such a multidimensional approach can establish a more productive relationship that can lead to positive juvenile outcomes. Hence, it is crucial to consider various sides of the issue and collect the most accurate data to understand if social work with parents can decrease the youth’s rate of repeat offenses as other factors are involved and can affect the outcome. Education on the topic related to legal matters and additional involvement of professionals are the established ways of preparing parents for participation in the probation. However, the problem requires further investigation to determine how parents can understand how to work with children who are at risk of becoming offenders. In-depth research on the topic and the knowledge of primarily established theories regarding deviant behavior can contribute to a better understanding of how the system works and how it can be improved for parents to participate in the youth’s probation to reduce offenses rate.


Back, S., Soor, S., & LaPrade, J. (2018). Juvenile hackers: an empirical test of self-control theory and social bonding theory. International Journal of Cybersecurity Intelligence & Cybercrime, 1(1).

Bernburg, J. G. (2019). Labeling theory. Handbook on Crime and Deviance, 179–196.

Haqanee, Z., Peterson-Badali, M., & Skilling, T. (2015). Making “what works” work: Examining probation officers’ experiences addressing the criminogenic needs of juvenile offenders. Journal of Offender Rehabilitation, 54(1), 37-59.

Vidal, S., & Woolard, J. (2017). Youth’s perceptions of parental support and parental knowledge as moderators of the association between youth–probation officer relationship and probation non-compliance. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 46(7), 1452-1471.

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LawBirdie. (2023, August 3). Parents’ Role in Youth Probation. Retrieved from


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"Parents’ Role in Youth Probation." LawBirdie, 3 Aug. 2023,


LawBirdie. (2023) 'Parents’ Role in Youth Probation'. 3 August.


LawBirdie. 2023. "Parents’ Role in Youth Probation." August 3, 2023.

1. LawBirdie. "Parents’ Role in Youth Probation." August 3, 2023.


LawBirdie. "Parents’ Role in Youth Probation." August 3, 2023.