Date of Award

Spring 5-2012

Degree Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Committee Chair

Jon Mandracchia

Committee Chair Department


Committee Member 2

Bonnie Nicholson

Committee Member 2 Department


Committee Member 3

Eric Dahlen

Committee Member 3 Department



Antisocial cognitions and attitudes, globally labeled as criminogenic thinking, are shown to perpetuate maladaptive and antisocial behavior in both criminals and non-offenders. In the non-offender population, these thinking patterns may not lead to illegal behavior, but can result in irresponsible or maladaptive behavioral consequences. Theories suggest that early childhood parent-child interactions may be partly responsible for the development of criminogenic thinking. While the relationship between parenting and antisocial behavior is well documented, the connection between parenting and the development of criminogenic thinking styles has not yet been explored. The current study examined the nature of the relationship between exposure to parenting behaviors and subsequent criminogenic thoughts in a non-offender, college population. It was hypothesized that unhealthy parenting approaches would be predictive of criminogenic thinking. Results indicate that parenting may impact general criminogenic thinking, as well as specific types of criminogenic thinking styles. Relevance and importance of the findings with regards to clinical work and parenting are also discussed.