Does disruptive behaviour in schools mediate the relationship between children at risk for delinquency and their future offending behaviour?
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
The development of delinquency in young persons has been a longstanding concern for researchers and policy makers alike. The current study investigated relationships between trait aggression, disruptive behaviour in school and future offending behaviours. This research was conducted as a follow up to the work of McLoughlin et. al., (2010) Panckhurst, (2010) and Panich, (2013) and the primary focus was whether disruptive behaviour during school years mediated the relationship between initial aggression scores and future offending behaviour. Our secondary goal was to analyse positive parenting variables and test their influence on future offending. Longitudinal data obtained from McLoughlin et. al.’s research was analysed and the influence of disruptive behaviour during school was tested in a mediation model to find how much influence this is had on aggression scores and future offending. Positive parenting variables were then added to the model and their influence also tested. The results revealed that disruptive behaviour in school mediated the relationship between aggression and future offending and when positive parenting variables were added to the model the overall predictive accuracy of the model was improved. Overall, the results add to evidence that negative school experiences play an important role in determining whether at-risk youths engage in future offending behaviour.