Research finds that vicarious strain significantly predicts juvenile delinquency. However, no studies have examined the influence of vicarious health strain on youth behavior despite the fact that when individuals directly experience poor health, there is a greater likelihood of crime and delinquency. Using a sample of youth from the Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods (PHDCN) data, we assess the associations between vicarious family health strain (both mental and physical) and juvenile delinquency. We find that vicarious physical health strain is not associated with juvenile delinquency. However, vicarious mental health strain is significantly associated with violent juvenile offending. Based on the results, we highlight various avenues for future research that continues to investigate the link between health and crime.
Grosholz, J. M., Isom Scott, D. A., Semenza, D. C., & Fleck, A. M. (2019). Vicarious Family Health Strain and Juvenile Delinquency. Youth and Society. https://doi.org/10.1177/0044118X19859765