Date of Award


Degree Name

PhD Nursing

Dissertation Committee

Patricia A. Roth, EdD, RN, Chair; Cynthia D. Connelly, PhD, RN, FAAN; Jane M. Georges, PhD, RN


criminal justice system, motherhood, mother-son connectedness, nursing, serious delinquency, Substance use, violent delinquency, young men


The relationship between a mother and her son and its influence on health and risk behaviors as a boy becomes a man has had little exploration. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships between mother-son connectedness, substance use, serious delinquency, violent delinquency, and criminal justice system involvement in young men. This study uses data from The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (ADD Health), a school-based study of students in grades 7–12 in the United States. Multiple regression, ANOVA, and logistic regression were used to analyze independent and dependent variables. Results show a perception of connectedness, which is significantly less in mothers of males with criminal justice system involvement. African-American males reported more connectedness than did Asian or White males. Mother Perception Scale (M) is shown to be a significant predictor of criminal justice system involvement. Binge drinking and frequency of marijuana use during the past 30 days were significantly related to serious delinquency. Binge drinking and the mother's report of feeling less able to trust in her son were also significantly connected to violent delinquency. The Nursing profession provides healthcare across settings to populations diverse in gender, age, ethnicity and race, and socioeconomic status, including those involved with the criminal justice system. Nurses have an opportunity to make a significant contribution to health and quality of life through health promotion, disease prevention, and health restoration. The results of this study will be useful in the development of interventions with youth, families, and communities, which support healthy transitions to adulthood. This study adds to limited knowledge of the relationship between mothers and sons during adolescence and young adulthood and the outcomes that are impacted. Future research should explore interpersonal and social networking influences on varying populations through dyadic analysis and other approaches to relationship science. Research focusing on the incarcerated should extend to those impacted by kinship or caring, including children, family, siblings, parents, peers, and others involved with prisoner reentry. The effect of correctional work environments on the health and well-being of workers is also of import because of the personal and economic impact.

Document Type

Dissertation: Open Access



Included in

Nursing Commons