Risk and Protective Factors among Youth Offenders

By Carr, Mary B.; Vandiver, Trish A. | Adolescence, Fall 2001 | Go to article overview

Risk and Protective Factors among Youth Offenders


Carr, Mary B., Vandiver, Trish A., Adolescence


ABSTRACT

This exploratory study examined the risk and protective factors of youth offenders and their relation to recidivism. The sample consisted of 76 male and female juvenile probationers within a large metropolitan area. Archival records on probationers provided data on prior offenses, personal characteristics, familial conditions, drug use, peer selection, school performance, role models, and activities and hobbies. It was found that protective factors, specifically personal characteristics, familial conditions, and peer selection, differentiated nonrepeat offenders and repeat offenders. The present body of findings supports the adaptive model of resiliency and reinforces the importance of enhancing protective factors in youth offenders as a means of deterring delinquent behavior.

Through the lens of risk, researchers have viewed the youth offender as one who is living in poverty while being deficient in confidence, social relationships, academic abilities, and parental support (Lerner & Galambos, 1998). Volumes of theoretical and empirical research have been devoted to causal explanations of delinquent behavior, and to the identification of risk factors and stressors that characterize the young criminal offender. Risk factors are those conditions that are associated with a higher likelihood of negative outcomes, such as engaging in problem behavior, dropping out of school, and having trouble with the law (Jessor, Van Den Bos, Vanderryn, Costa & Turbin, 1995). Risk factors include poor self-concept, low self-esteem (Brook, Whiteman, Balka, & Cohen, 1997; Lerner & Galambos, 1998; Werner, 1993), interpersonal inadequacy (Brook et al., 1997), poor expectations for education (Brook et al., 1997; Lerner & Galambos, 1998), trouble-some attitude (Corbett & Petersilia, 1994), poor parenting st yles (Lerner & Galambos, 1998), low family cohesion (Blaske, Borduin, Henggeler & Mann, 1989; Corbett & Petersilia, 1994; Davidson, Redner, Blakely, Mitchell, & Emshoff, 1987), relationships with peers who engage in risk behaviors (Blaske et al., 1989; Lerner & Galambos, 1998), large number of siblings within the household (Corbett & Petersilia, 1994), drug use (Brook et al., 1997; Lerner & Galambos, 1998), poor academic performance, poor school attendance, and continued involvement in risk behavior (Lerner & Galambos, 1998).

A review of the literature reveals that specific stressful events and ongoing stressful life conditions (termed stressors) have also been associated with adverse developmental outcomes, including delinquent behavior in adolescence (Cowen & Work, 1988; Cowen, Wyman, Work, & Iker, 1995; Fergusson & Lynskey, 1996; Rutter, 1985; Wertlieb, Weigel, & Feldstein, 1987; Work, Cowen, Parker, & Wyman, 1990). Stressors include poverty, familial separation, parental psychopathology, parental alcoholism, prenatal stress, abuse, and maltreatment (Cowen & Work, 1988; Masten, Garmezy, Tellegen, Pellegrini, Larkin, & Larsen, 1988; Werner, 1986; Werner, 1989). Adolescents who experience stressors are considered at risk, according to the risk perspective.

The risk perspective depicts the youth offender on a trajectory of criminality, addiction, and dependency. Although repeated delinquency can lead to career paths in criminal activity in later adolescence and adulthood, not all of those who are exposed to stressors continue to commit criminal acts. Many individuals raised in adverse circumstances, with early criminal records, have transcended the limitations of their environment and have developed into productive, well-adjusted adults (Jessor, 1993; Lerner & Galambos, 1998; Werner, 1993). Thus, an alternative model can be constructed: one that emphasizes the strengths and assets of youth offenders, and turns its attention to those adolescents who have desisted from delinquent involvement. In contrast to the risk perspective, an adaptive model would emphasize the factors and processes that safeguard youth from adverse outcomes. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Risk and Protective Factors among Youth Offenders
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.