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lindagray

Risk factors 2

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Family environment and peer influence
Family factors that may have an influence on offending include: the level of parental supervision, the way parents discipline a child, particularly harsh punishment, parental conflict or separation, criminal parents or siblings, parental abuse or neglect, and the quality of the parent-child relationship. Children who develop behavioral problems early in life are at greater risk for continual life long antisocial behavior, criminal activity and violence. Some have suggested that having a lifelong partner leads to less offending.

Juvenile Delinquency, which basically is the rebellious or unlawful activities by kids in their teens or pre-teens, is caused by four main risk factors namely; personality, background, state of mind and drugs. These factors may lead to the child having low IQ and may increase the rate of illiteracy.

Children brought up by single parents are more likely to start offending than those who live with both parents. It is also more likely that children of single parents may live in poverty, which is strongly associated with juvenile delinquency. However once the attachment a child feels towards their parent(s) and the level of parental supervision are taken into account, children in single parent families are no more likely to offend than others. Conflict between a child's parents is also much more closely linked to offending than being raised by a lone parent.

If a child has low parental supervision they are much more likely to offend. Many studies have found a strong correlation between a lack of supervision and offending, and it appears to be the most important family influence on offending. When parents commonly do not know where their children are, what their activities are, or who their friends are, children are more likely to truant from school and have delinquent friends, each of which are linked to offending. A lack of supervision is also connected to poor relationships between children and parents. Children who are often in conflict with their parents may be less willing to discuss their activities with them.

Adolescents with criminal siblings are only more likely to be influenced by their siblings, and also become delinquent; the sibling is older, of the same sex/gender, and warm. Cases where a younger criminal sibling influences an older one are rare. An aggressive, non-loving/warm sibling is less likely to influence a younger sibling in the direction of delinquency, if anything, the more strained the relationship between the siblings, the less they will want to be like, and/or influence each other.

Peer rejection in childhood is also a large predictor of juvenile delinquency. Although children are rejected by peers for many reasons, it is often the case that they are rejected due to violent or aggressive behavior. This rejections affects the child's ability to be socialized properly, which can reduce their aggressive tendencies, and often leads them to gravitate towards anti-social peer groups. This association often leads to the promotion of violent, aggressive and deviant behavior. "The impact of deviant peer group influences on the crystallization of an antisocial developmental trajectory has been solidly documented." Aggressive adolescents who have been rejected by peers are also more likely to have a "hostile attribution bias", which leads people to interpret the actions of others (whether they be hostile or not) as purposefully hostile and aggressive towards them. This often leads to an impulsive and aggressive reaction. Hostile attribution bias however, can appear at any age during development and often lasts throughout a persons life.

Children resulting from unintended pregnancies are more likely to exhibit delinquent behavior. They also have lower mother-child relationship quality.

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