Juvenile Offenders, Risk Factors

Broadly defined, a risk factor for juvenile offending is any experience, circumstance, or personal characteristic that increases the probability that a given youth will commit a legal transgression. No single risk factor causes offending; many youths who have been exposed to various risk factors never commit a crime. Rather, juvenile offending typically emerges as a result of complex interactions among a wide variety of risk and protective factors that vary from child to child. Combined risk factors tend to exhibit additive effects, with the likelihood of offending increasing as the number of risk factors increases. Also, the impact of a given risk factor varies across the life course; some may have an effect only at a particular developmental stage. Attempts to mitigate possible risk factors ...

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