Melissa Thompson

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Sociology



Physical Description

1 online resource (vii, 66 p.) : 1 col ill.


Power-control theory, Parent-daughter relationship, Parental control, Female juvenile delinquents -- Mental health, Female juvenile delinquents -- Family relationships, Teenage girls -- Mental health, Depression in adolescence, Juvenile delinquency -- Sex differences




This study examined the connection between household type and delinquency and depressive symptoms for female adolescents. The present study draws its claims from Power-control theory which, at its most abstract level, predicts gender differences in delinquency based on the level of patriarchy in the family and the theoretical works of Sarah Rosenfield, who argues that it is the over control of females that causes them to have higher rates depression than males. This study hoped to build on research that links differences in family type and parental control to sex differences in delinquency by using the Power-control theory to look depressive symptoms among female adolescents. Past studies looking at female delinquency attempt to understand why females are under representative in crime statistics when compared to their male counterparts. These studies focus most of the attention on the social control placed over females. Using the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, the findings showed that, contrary to claims made by power-control theory, patriarchal family did not predict delinquent behavior or depressive symptoms for female adolescents. Further analysis included an instrument of control, parental attachment, risk perceptions and found significant results. Race was also significant in several models. The parent-daughter relationship was most significant in predicting outcomes of depressive symptoms and delinquent behavior. Those who reported close relationships with their parents were less likely to report depressive symptoms and delinquency behavior.


Portland State University. Dept.of Sociology

Persistent Identifier