Feminist Criminology

Pickett, Justin T*



Juvenile justice reformers and practitioners have long blamed mothers for juvenile delinquency, identifying maternal employment as a key cause of youthful offending. The current study uses data from registered voters (N = 10,144) to examine public views about whether maternal employment in two-parent households promotes juvenile delinquency. The results show that only a small minority of citizens blame working mothers for youth crime. The findings also reveal that views about the criminogenic consequences of maternal employment for children are predicted by factors that are strongly associated with gendered self-interest and exposure to nonegalitarian narratives. Implications of the findings are discussed.

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* Denotes CSDA Associates, Affiliates, and Staff