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  • Salmiaitta, Pentti (2014)
    Objectives: Juvenile delinquency and substance use are significant social problems. Delinquency and substance use started in adolescence often lead to lifetime persistent behavior patterns. According to previous research the most important individual factor in relation to juvenile delinquency and substance use is personality and one of the most important environmental factors in relation to these behaviors is parental monitoring. In this study I tried to replicate earlier results on the links of personality and parental monitoring with juvenile delinquency and substance use. Moreover I examined the quality of interactions between the Big Five personality traits and parental monitoring in relation to juvenile delinquency and substance use; these interactions have not been studied comprehensively before. Methods: Data for this study was taken from the Finnish national delinquency survey from 2012 collected by the National Research Institute of Legal Policy. The sample consisted of 8914 Finnish 6th and 9th grade pupils (age range 12–17). I analyzed the amount of self-reported criminal acts from the previous year in three classes of crime: aggressive and non-aggressive criminal acts as well as substance use (incl. alcohol use). I used multinomial logistic regression to examine the links of the Big Five personality dimensions, parental monitoring and their interactions to different classes of criminal acts. In each class of crime I compared separately occasional and repetitive offenders to those who reported minimal amounts of criminal acts. Results and conclusions: Parental monitoring had strong positive links to all classes of crime independent of the amount of criminal acts. Agreeableness and conscientiousness had negative relationships with all criminal behavior following previous research. Extraversion in turn had positive relations to all crime contrary to many previous results. Personality traits and parental monitoring had two separate kinds of interactions: in many occasions when parental monitoring was lower some personality trait was reduced in its power to predict criminal acts; contrary to this the positive relationship of extraversion to repetitive aggressive crime raised as parental monitoring decreased in amount. The significance of parental monitoring in relation to juvenile delinquency and substance use is highlighted in my results. According to my results it will be profitable to put effort in reinforcing parental monitoring to fight juvenile delinquency and substance use.