Citation

Motherhood and Offending: A Test of Two Theoretical Explanations

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Abstract:

Studies examining the ways in which motherhood shapes women’s offending trajectories suggest that children can be both a protective factor and a risk factor in the lives of female offenders. Despite these mixed findings, limited scholarship has identified or tested the theoretical mechanisms that might explain the conditions under which children are an asset or a liability for female offenders. Here we propose and test two theoretical explanations of the effects of children on female offending. On the one hand, the roles and expectations associated with motherhood are generally incompatible with offending, and this role conflict can motivate female offenders towards desistance. We propose that this is most likely where women have the social support and resources they need to effectively focus on their mothering responsibilities. On the other hand, the stresses of motherhood can be a catalyst for the onset or continuation of offending, reducing the likelihood of desistance. We argue that the stresses of motherhood will be more acute where social support and resources are limited. Using data from the Glueck’s Women’s Reformatory Study we examine whether and how female offenders’ social and material resources influence the direction and strength of the link between motherhood and offending.
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Association:
Name: ASC Annual Meeting
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http://www.asc41.com


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p373369_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Kleymann, Erin., Broidy, Lisa. and Cauffman, Elizabeth. "Motherhood and Offending: A Test of Two Theoretical Explanations" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the ASC Annual Meeting, Philadelphia Marriott Downtown, Philadelphia, PA, Nov 04, 2009 <Not Available>. 2014-11-28 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p373369_index.html>

APA Citation:

Kleymann, E. , Broidy, L. and Cauffman, E. , 2009-11-04 "Motherhood and Offending: A Test of Two Theoretical Explanations" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the ASC Annual Meeting, Philadelphia Marriott Downtown, Philadelphia, PA <Not Available>. 2014-11-28 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p373369_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: Studies examining the ways in which motherhood shapes women’s offending trajectories suggest that children can be both a protective factor and a risk factor in the lives of female offenders. Despite these mixed findings, limited scholarship has identified or tested the theoretical mechanisms that might explain the conditions under which children are an asset or a liability for female offenders. Here we propose and test two theoretical explanations of the effects of children on female offending. On the one hand, the roles and expectations associated with motherhood are generally incompatible with offending, and this role conflict can motivate female offenders towards desistance. We propose that this is most likely where women have the social support and resources they need to effectively focus on their mothering responsibilities. On the other hand, the stresses of motherhood can be a catalyst for the onset or continuation of offending, reducing the likelihood of desistance. We argue that the stresses of motherhood will be more acute where social support and resources are limited. Using data from the Glueck’s Women’s Reformatory Study we examine whether and how female offenders’ social and material resources influence the direction and strength of the link between motherhood and offending.


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