What Challenges Are Boys Facing, and What Opportunities Exist To Address Those Challenges? Fact Sheet: Juvenile Delinquency*. What Factors Increase or Decrease Boys' Risk of Juvenile Delinquency?

09/03/2008

As juvenile arrest rates have declined over the past several decades, researchers have learned valuable lessons about boys’ and girls’ risk factors — those traits and life experiences that can jeopardize a person’s healthy development — and protective factors — the characteristics and life experiences that can increase a boy’s likelihood of positive outcomes.

Individual risk factors for juvenile delinquency include:

  • Early aggressive behavior(17)
  • Restlessness and concentration problems(18)
  • Substance abuse(19)
  • Association with antisocial peers(20)
  • Participation in unstructured leisure activities(21)

Ways families, schools, and communities can aggravate the risk of juvenile delinquency:

  • Childhood maltreatment(22)
  • Ineffective or dysfunctional parenting(23)
  • Parental criminality(24)
  • Truancy and dropping out of school(25)
  • Exposure to community violence(26)
  • Poverty(27)

Factors that help protect young people from the risk of juvenile delinquency include:

  • Strong feelings of accountability or perceived risk of punishment for misbehavior(28),(29)
  • Attachments to family or family support(30),(31)
  • Parental monitoring(32)
  • Positive social activities(33)
  • High academic achievement or school connectedness(34),(35)
  • Low neighborhood crime rate(36)

View full report

Preview
Download

"report.pdf" (pdf, 1.07Mb)

Note: Documents in PDF format require the Adobe Acrobat Reader®. If you experience problems with PDF documents, please download the latest version of the Reader®