Background: Previous studies have shown a linkage between parental divorce and adolescents' delinquent behavior. However, it remains unclear whether adolescents’ ethnicity and gender are moderating factors in this correlation. Purpose: To examine the differences in delinquent behavior between adolescents from divorced and intact families, as well as to investigate the role of ethnicity and gender in explaining these differences. Method: Quantitative research has been completed by collecting cross-sequential data in the years 2006 and 2013. These data have been combined and generated a sample of 4177 selectively recruited high school students. The results are based on the students who answered questions about parental divorce and delinquent behavior. Results: Adolescents from divorced families show significantly higher levels of delinquent behavior compared to adolescents from intact families. Furthermore, a significant difference has been found in mean delinquent behavior between adolescents from different ethnic groups. Compared to western adolescents from divorced families, non-western adolescents from divorced families showed significantly higher levels of delinquent behavior. Although boys from intact and divorced families showed higher levels of delinquent behavior compared to girls from intact and divorced families, gender did not play a significant role. Conclusion: Adolescents from divorced families report considerably more frequent delinquent behavior than adolescents from intact families. In the linkage between parental divorce and delinquent behavior ethnicity plays a significant role. Even though results show that boys are more delinquent compared to girls after parental divorce, gender does not play a significant role in explaining the link between parental divorce and delinquent behavior. The overall impact of parental divorce in the development of any child should be taken seriously, in the field of social work as well as in future research
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