Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Eberly College of Arts and Sciences


Forensic and Investigative Science

Committee Chair

Corey Colyer

Committee Co-Chair

Rachel Stein

Committee Member

Jesse Wozniak


This research study seeks to formally test a relationship between household structure, birth order and juvenile delinquency that was suggested as an onset to criminal behavior by men incarcerated in a maximum security facility. The focus of this study is on first born males due to the retrospective narratives given by the incarcerated men that being a first born male who has either lost a father-or father figure due to death, divorce and/or prison have felt a sense of responsibility as the "man of house" to be able to provide family stability which can include care of other siblings, maintaining the home through housework and in some cases maintaining the family financially. This study tests whether (1) delinquent acts for monetary gain increases if the adolescent is a first born male and (2) delinquency increases if the juvenile first born male is living in a female headed household. I use Sampson and Laub's (1993) life course theory and the NLSY79 to test the hypothesis. Tobit regression models suggests there is no relationship in increased delinquency for monetary gain for first born males and first born males living in a single female headed household.