CONCLUSIONS

On the whole, we found that indicators of attachment to parents are negatively associated with physically aggressive and violent behavior. There are some nuances to this generalization, and the findings are not as strong as they are for some other criminogenic factors.

The findings also consistently indicate that measures of attachment, mainly scales of attachment and bonding, are related in a similar way to nonviolent offending. When measures of extreme attachment problems, in the form of parental loss are used, there is weak, very preliminary support for our hypothesis. While focusing on studies comparing violent to nonviolent offending subjects leans in the direction that violent offenders have more attachment problems than nonviolent offenders, the findings from that small set of studies is far from conclusive. Moreover, in our own brief analysis of Add Health data, we did not find any evidence suggesting that violent offenders had lower attachment levels than nonviolent ones. We have to conclude that attachment, as a general category, is not a strong differential predictor of violent, over nonviolent offending.

 
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