Attorneys for Texas teen Ethan Couch claimed that his “affluenza” meant he was blameless for driving drunk and causing a crash that left four people dead in June.
Judge Jean Boyd sentenced him Tuesday to 10 years of probation but no jail time, saying she would work to find him a long-term treatment facility.
But the term highlights the issue of parents, particularly upper-middle-class ones, who not only refuse to discipline their children but may protest the efforts of others — school officials, law enforcement and the courts — who attempt to do so, said Suniya Luthar, a professor of psychology at Arizona State University.
“There are families where very, very few limits are set at a time when they should be,” she said. By age 16, she noted, it’s too late: “The horse is out of the barn.”
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