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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Characteristics of the multi-problem family : a study of child care, crime, juvenile delinquency and economic dependency as related to family functioning in the multi-problem family Carlile, Collin


"Factors Associated With Crime and Juvenile Delinquency, Economic Dependency, and Inadequate Child Care In Multi-Problem Families". A thesis presented by Collin Carlile, John Cushnie, Roy Fong, Kenneth Pauli, Helen Ruckle, Ailsa Walker and Arthur Veroba. The purpose of this study was to explore associations between the factors of child care, crime and juvenile delinquency, and economic dependency, and selected family functioning variables. These family functioning variables were chosen from the scale utilized by Geismar-Ayres in the St. Paul Study on Multi-Problem Families. Simple random sampling was used to select 100 cases from a group of 250 cases previously selected and in use by the Vancouver Area Development Project. The source material consisted of Area Development Project case profiles and score sheets, and selected case file material. The collected data was sorted and tabulated in such a manner as to allow comparison of the association between the specific variables. The reliability of the ratings used was assumed as all data was previously recorded by Vancouver Area Development Project Staff who had been trained in utilizing the rating scale. This study was an "ex-post-facto” survey and therefore was not intended to necessarily delineate any complex etiological patterns. No factors were found to be highly associated with any of the family functioning variables though several incidents of moderate association were found. The family functioning factor most closely associated with economic dependency was the absence of one parent from the home. The factor most closely associated with inadequate child care was the inadequate behaviour of the mother. The factor most closely associated with delinquency and crime was inadequacy in the behaviour of the mother and inadequacy in marital relationships respectively. The major significant findings of this study would seem to indicate that it has fulfilled its purpose by underlining the need for further studies of family functioning variables within the context of multi-problem families. Such future studies would necessarily be intensified both in depth and focus.

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