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lindagray

Risk factors 1

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Risk factors

The two largest predictors of juvenile delinquency are:

parenting style, with the two styles most likely to predict delinquency being:

"permissive" parenting, characterized by a lack of consequence-based discipline and encompassing two subtypes known as:
"neglectful" parenting, characterized by a lack of monitoring and thus of knowledge of the child's activities; and
"indulgent" parenting, characterized by affirmative enablement of misbehavior;

"authoritarian" parenting, characterized by harsh discipline and refusal to justify discipline on any basis other than "because I said so";

peer group association, particularly with antisocial peer groups, as is more likely when adolescents are left unsupervised.

Other factors that may lead a teenager into juvenile delinquency include poor or low socioeconomic status, poor school readiness/performance and/or failure, peer rejection, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). There may also be biological factors, such as high levels of serotonin, giving them a difficult temper and poor self-regulation, and a lower resting heart rate, which may lead to fearlessness. Delinquent activity, particularly the involvement in youth gangs, may also be caused by a desire for protection against violence or financial hardship, as the offenders view delinquent activity as a means of surrounding themselves with resources to protect against these threats. Most of these influences tend to be caused by a mix of both genetic and environmental factors. Some research indicates that changes in the weather can increase the likelihood of children exhibiting deviant behavior.

Individual risk factors
Individual psychological or behavioral risk factors that may make offending more likely include low intelligence, impulsiveness or the inability to delay gratification, aggression, lack of empathy, and restlessness.[9] Other risk factors that may be evident during childhood and adolescence include, aggressive or troublesome behavior, language delays or impairments, lack of emotional control (learning to control one's anger), and cruelty to animals.

Children with low intelligence are more likely to do badly in school. This may increase the chances of offending because low educational attainment, a low attachment to school, and low educational aspirations are all risk factors for offending in themselves. Children who perform poorly at school are also more likely to be truant, and the status offense of truancy is linked to further offending. Impulsiveness is seen by some as the key aspect of a child's personality that predicts offending. However, it is not clear whether these aspects of personality are a result of "deficits in the executive functions of the brain" or a result of parental influences or other social factors. In any event, studies of adolescent development show that teenagers are more prone to risk-taking, which may explain the high disproportionate rate of offending among adolescents

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