Adolescent delinquency in child welfare system: A multiple disadvantage model

Tyrone Cheng, Qingyi Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


This longitudinal study of adolescents in the child welfare system examined delinquent behaviors' relationships with social structural, social-relationship, and mental health factors. This study employed a sample of 788 adolescents (age 11–17 years) extracted from 3 interview waves of the longitudinal National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being (NSCAW-II). Results of negative binomial regression showed that deviant peer affiliation, alcohol use, use of substances while alone, depression, need for services, receipt of services for delinquency, male gender, and age were associated positively with higher “counts” of delinquent acts. In turn, parental monitoring was associated negatively with such counts. Social structural factors and maltreatment types had no significant associations with delinquent acts. Implications of the results include a need for cultivating prosocial friends, providing parental monitoring, and conducting drug screens to address adolescents' delinquency.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-212
Number of pages8
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2017


  • Adolescents
  • Child welfare
  • Delinquency


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