Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. Douglas V. Davidson

Second Advisor

Dr. David Hartmann

Third Advisor

Dr. Charles Crawford

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Mark Orbe


The study uses data from the over sampling of African American youth (4,808) from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health to explore the relationship between family structure, attachment and their role in reducing delinquency. Using theelement of attachment from Hirschi’s (1969) social control theory, this study examines the historical development of the various family structures and the role attachment plays in reducing delinquency in those family structures. The study uses structural equation modeling to test this hypothesis. This study shows that when attachment is present regardless of the family structure delinquency will be reduced.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access