Juvenile Delinquency: Risk and Protective Factors in Family Relations
Authors: David Bothén, Jarkko Tauriainen
Supervisor: Sabina Kapeanovic
In this study, we have investigated risk and protective factors in parent-child relations and sibling relations, and their effects on juvenile delinquency. Furthermore, we wanted to research whether these relationships, and delinquent behavior, were affected by the gender of the youths, their experience of their neighborhood, or if the youths had previously been in contact with the social services on account of their own behavior. The study was conducted on a sample of 1 324 Swedish boys and girls, between the ages of 13 and 17 (M age = 14.3), as a part of the LoRDIA project. A high level of parental knowledge about the activities of their children, showed a protective effect against a youth’s delinquent behavior. The protective effect of parents’ access to information, is especially important for the group that had previously been in contact with the social services. A youth’s voluntary disclosure about his or her activities also showed a protective effect against delinquency. Sibling relationships showed a few, weak, effects on youths’ delinquent behavior. These, however, disappeared when compared to parents’ access to information. Further results showed apparent gender differences in delinquent behavior patterns among youths. Not only do boys commit more crimes than girls, but there are also differences in how parents handle their child’s delinquent behavior, depending on the child’s gender. In general, the risk and protective factors researched in this study, don’t seem to be affected by the youth’s experience of his or her neighborhood.
This research is financed by:
Swedish Research Council, FORTE, VINNOVA, Formas