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This study examines whether (1) mothers vary in the way they express hostility toward their delinquent adolescent offspring, (2) different types of maternal hostility differentially affect adolescents’ depression and recidivism, and (3) adolescent depression serves as a mechanism through which maternal hostility predicts later reoffending. The sample consists of 1,216 male first‐time offenders, aged 13–17 years (M = 15.80, SD = 1.29). Confirmatory factor analysis supported the premise that maternal hostility could be distinguished into two subtypes: emotional and physical hostility. Adolescent offenders who experienced emotional or physical hostility by their mothers reported greater depressive symptoms and reoffending 6 months later. Further, the relation between maternal hostility (of each type) and adolescent reoffending was partially explained by depressive symptomology.


Institute for Learning Sciences and Teacher Education

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Journal Article

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