University of Tasmania
whole_AcRosemary2008_thesis.pdf (3.34 MB)

Parenting style and antisocial pathways : the implications of rational choice assumptions in crime prevention

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posted on 2023-05-26, 22:11 authored by Ac, R
This dissertation looks at the problem of increasing rates of antisocial behaviour in western countries. As such, the structural models being proposed to ameliorate this trend in Australia are questioned. Current strategies include tough punitive measures, cognitive education, therapy and diversion through welfare services. However, over the last two decades, increases rather than decreases in criminal behaviour and depressive illness have occurred, especially in Tasmania. By means of interviews with practitioners, from various agencies, problems in trying to address antisocial trends are examined. There are many theories on offending, with the idea of 'pathways' prominent in recent literature. However, Australian crime prevention approaches are becoming less focused on developmental explanations in favour of a 'rational choice' view which seems to blame the underprivileged for their problems. Furthermore, although acknowledging the need for early intervention, rational choice notions downplay the implications of parenting style on offending pathways. This is because of an assumption that trust is inbuilt and behavioural motivations instrumental and reciprocal. Hence, the idea is that those who are inherently resilient will overcome their disadvantage by choosing good role models and supports during life transitions. Consequently, both developmental and rational choice models attend to the journey rather than the source of social pathways. This dissertation argues that the sensitive pre-language phase of childhood is where feelings of trust and empathy develop, temperament is determined and pro-social or antisocial propensities arise. By noting emerging patterns of behaviour observed by practitioners and exploring the literature on offending, it is hoped to highlight how parenting style is not just one of the many factors involved in offending behaviour but the principal driver of social outcomes.


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Copyright 2008 the author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s). Thesis (MCrimCorr)--University of Tasmania, 2008. Includes bibliographical references

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