Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: November 23, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412959193 | Print ISBN: 9781412959186 | Online ISBN: 9781412959193| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Wells, Edward L., and Joseph H. Rankin: Direct Controls and Delinquency
Alana Van Gundy-Yoder
Prior to Edward Wells and Joseph Rankin's 1988 article that focused on parental control and delinquency (see also Rankin & Wells, 1990), the relationship between direct parental control and involvement in delinquency had not been extensively studied by theorists. Although examined by F. Ivan Nye in 1958, direct control had decreased in theoretical importance in large part due to the prominence of Travis Hirschi's social bond theory. Hirschi argued that the key bond between parents and children was attachment. Youngsters who were emotionally attached to their parents cared about what their parents thought and, as a result, refrained from conduct—including delinquent acts—of which their parents disapproved. Even when not with them, parents had a psychological presence in their children's lives and thus exerted indirect control over their behavior. Although not discounting the impact of the social bond of attachment, Wells and Rankin argued that the exclusive focus on indirect control ...