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Crime & Risk factors. By Tamburai Muchinguri. Introduction. As they grow up, children are exposed to a number of factors which may increase their risk for problems such as abusing drugs or engaging in delinquent behavior. These factors may be referred to as risk factors. Definition.

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crime risk factors

Crime & Risk factors

By Tamburai


  • As they grow up, children are exposed to a number of factors which may increase their risk for problems such as abusing drugs or engaging in delinquent behavior.
  • These factors may be referred to as risk factors.
  • Risk factors are any circumstances that may increase children’s likelihood of engaging in risky behaviors.
  • Risk factors function in a cumulative fashion, that is, the greater the number of risk factors, the greater the likelihood that children will engage in delinquent or other risky behavior.
  • There is evidence that problem behaviors associated with risk factors tend to cluster.
cont d
  • For example, delinquency and violence cluster with other problems, such as drug abuse, teen pregnancy and school misbehavior.
  • There is however a difference between root cause and risk factors.
  • A cause-effect mindset makes it too easy to assume that the existence of a risk factor inevitably leads to criminality.
cont d5
  • For example, poverty is a factor in criminal behavior. However many poor people do not engage in crime.
  • It therefore does not mean that if you are poor you can commit crimes but chances of you committing crimes are high.
categories of risk behaviors
Categories of risk behaviors
  • Risk factors are organized into 5 main categories:
  • Individual
  • Family
  • School
  • Peer group
  • community
cont d7
  • Individual risk factors.
  • Antisocial behavior and alienation/ general delinquency involvement, drug dealing
  • Gun possession/illegal gun ownership or carrying
  • Favorable attitudes towards drug use, early use of alcohol/ drug use
  • Early onset of aggression/ violence
  • Victimization and exposure to violence {value judgment is distorted}
cont d8
  • Early sexual involvement
  • Mental disorder/mental health problem
family risk factors
Family risk factors
  • Family history of problem behavior/parent criminality
  • Family management problems/poor parent supervision and or monitoring
  • Poor family attachment/bonding
  • Child victimization and maltreatment
  • Pattern of high family conflict
  • Family violence
cont d10
  • Broken home
  • Sibling anti social behavior
  • Parental use of physical punishment/harsh and or erratic discipline practices
  • Low parent education level /literacy
  • Maternal depression
school risk factors
School Risk Factors
  • Low academic achievement
  • Negative attitude toward school/low bonding/low school attachment/ low commitment to school.
  • Truancy/frequent absences
  • Suspension
  • Dropping out of school.
  • Inadequate school climate/poorly organized and functioning schools/negative labeling by teachers
  • Identified as learning disabled
peer risk factors
Peer Risk factors
  • Gang involvement/gang membership
  • Association with delinquent/ aggressive peers
  • Peer rejection
community risk factors
Community risk factors
  • Availability /use of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs in neighborhood
  • Availability of firearms
  • High crime neighborhood
  • Community instability
  • Low community attachment
  • Economic deprivation/poverty/residence in a disadvantaged neighborhood
  • Neighborhood youth in trouble
  • Feeling unsafe in the neighborhood
  • Social and physical disorder/disorganized neighborhood