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J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 1996 May;37(4):419-24.

An investigation of risk and protective factors in a sample of youthful offenders.

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Department of Psychology, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada.


The study explored a set of potential risk and protective factors in relation to criminal activity and adjustment with a group of delinquent youths. The results indicated, first, that risk variables reflecting family relationship and parenting problems were associated with heightened rates of re-offending and lower overall adjustment. Second, the presence of protective factors relating to positive peer relations, good school achievement, positive response to authority and effective use of leisure time was associated with more positive outcomes with controls for the risk variables. Third, there was no evidence of interaction between risk and protective factors; the latter operated similarly at low and high levels of risk. These results are discussed in terms of their theoretical and applied significance.

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