Caribbean Journal of Psychology: Vol. 5, Issue 1, 2013

Article 6
Perceived Parental Control and Supervision in Adolescent Jamaican Delinquents and Non-Delinquents

Joelle Buckley
Jamaica Theological Seminary
Family Life Ministries

Stacey Brodie-Walker
University of the West Indies, Mona

Shanieka Welsh


The study sought to understand the parent-child relationship and its impact on adolescent’s involvement in delinquency. It did this through the use of a multidimensional model of parent-child attachment which assessed not just whether a bond existed and if it was secure or insecure, but explored the different dimensions of the parent-child relationship as well. The study further investigated how these different dimensions impact the passing of norms and values, and therefore impact the adolescent’s commitment to conformity. In order to understand their perception of parental relationships, the study used non-delinquent high school adolescents (adolescents who were never incarcerated) and compared their perceptions of their parental relationships with the perceptions of delinquents (adolescents residing in a correctional facility for juveniles). Though few significant differences in perception between the two groups were found, perceived parental control and supervision were less prevalent in the delinquent group. Both groups described their relationship with their parents as ‘good’ despite the literature’s suggestion that delinquent’s had ‘bad’ relationships with their parents. The implications for such controversial findings are discussed and the importance of parental control and supervision highlighted.