The relationship between foster care and offending has been well established, although the mechanisms through which this association occurs have been less explored. The current study used data on 405 young offenders from the Incarcerated Serious and Violent Young Offender Study to examine whether adult informal social controls mediated the relationship between foster care and continued offending in adulthood. Results from a structural equation model showed that informal social controls partially mediate the relationship between foster care and continued offending in adulthood. Findings provide support for cumulative disadvantage and state dependence principles of offending and highlight the need to encourage informal social controls amongst young offenders with a history of foster care.
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Thesis advisor: McCuish, Evan
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