The Effects of Surrogate Caregivers on The Relationship Between Fatherless/Fatherloss African American Male Youths and Their Level of Delinquent Behavior



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This study hypothesized that fathers and surrogates (male role models) contribute a unique set of factors that help guide African American male youths (N=496) during their normal developmental stages. This study hypothesized that surrogate caregivers would have an impact on the overall level of delinquent behavior of this population. A path analysis tested direct and mediated effects of exposure to violence on delinquent behavior, with anger/aggression level as a potential mediator for all three levels of caregiver presence or absence as a moderator. In the analysis of archival data from 496 African American male youths, the findings did not support these hypotheses consistently. Exposure to family violence as a mediator consistently predicted level of anger, and level of anger negatively predicted delinquent behavior for the fatherless sample. However, exposure did not have a direct positive effect on delinquent behavior in any of the three samples. Implications of these findings as well as other unpredicted findings with these three groups are explored.