Understanding families from a biosocial perspective

Authored by: John Paul Wright , Jamie Newsome , Michelle Coyne

The Routledge International Handbook of Biosocial Criminology

Print publication date:  December  2014
Online publication date:  December  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415722131
eBook ISBN: 9781315858449
Adobe ISBN: 9781317936749


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Thousands of studies link the family of origin to a myriad of pathologies, including low self-control, impulsivity, mental health disorders, low intelligence, drug abuse, and criminality—to name just a few (Farrington, 1978, 2010; Sayre-McCord, 2007). Indeed, no other institution has been as thoroughly researched, as thoroughly investigated, or as thoroughly critiqued as the family. Yet a focus on the volume of scholarly research into family functioning misses the even larger volume of attention paid to families in the mass media. Magazine articles, newspaper articles, and self-help books about the family and parenting abound in popular culture. The fact that so much is written on families stands as a testament to the core Western beliefs that family is the lynchpin of society and that what happens within families has dramatic consequences on the lives of children.

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