• Ann-Kathrine Christensen
  • Hanneke Beijering
In Denmark, approximately one percent of all children are placed in out-of-home care (Erlandsen, Jensen, Langager & Petersen: 23-24). Pre-existing research has shown that children placed in out-of-home care are exposed to some form of social problems during the course of their life, and that former placed children are worse off in general than the rest of the population. Former placed children experience a looser attachment to the labour market and have either no educational background or a low educational degree. Furthermore, former placed children often suffer greater psychological difficulties and rank higher in crime rates and suicide rates than non-placed children. This paper examines how social bonds between five former placed children and their immediate environment affected the risk of deviant conduct in adolescence, and which factors have influenced the persistence or desistance in the former placed children's potential deviant behaviour. In the study of this thesis, we conducted seven interviews with five different interviewees where we utilized a biographic narrative method. From the analysis we can conclude that all the interviewees had to some degree experienced insecure bonds to their biological parents. On the other hand, we also found that the interviewees had some secure bond to others within their immediate environment, such as grandparents, however the interviewees were not in daily contact with these relations. Further, we can conclude that all the interviewees had weak social bonds to conventional society to varying degrees. In the context of the collected data, we cannot conclude that there is any causal connection between the interviewees experience of weak and insecure bonds and the fact that four of the interviewees at some point displayed deviant behaviour during their adolescence. We conclude that the unsecured bonds and the weak attachments contributed in placing the interviewees in a risk zone for evolving into a deviant conduct, due to several indicators in the data. Furthermore, we examined which factors influenced the persistence or desistance from potential deviant behaviour in adolescence. In the effort to do so, we revoke Sampson’s and Laub’s term “turning points”. Turning points are events in the interviewees trajectories that initiates a dynamic process to desistance from deviant conduct (Laub & Sampson, 2003; Sampson & Laub, 2005). Overall we identified three factors that indicate turning points in the interviewee’s narratives: 1) a military career, 2) the institution of marriage, and parenthood and 3) the out-of-home care. One of the interviewee’s made a career in the Danish military and experienced the job as a turning point. Two of the interviewees experienced marriage and parenthood as turning points, and two of the interviewees experienced the out-of-home care as turning points, even though one of the latter interviewees did not desist entirely from deviant behaviour. Still there were noted changes in the conduct of the person in question.
Publication date4 Aug 2019
Number of pages81
ID: 308611318