Constellations of youth criminogenic factors associated with young adult violent criminal behavior [2020]

This study identified constellations of childhood risk factors associated with violent criminal behavior in early adulthood. Police data were used to sample violent and nonviolent offenders from a population of young adult males with a history of juvenile probation. Risk factors were retrieved from their juvenile probation files. A single classification tree analysis organized these into a decision tree for violent criminal behavior with good predictive accuracy. Two constellations of risk factors were associated with a high risk of violent criminal behavior. The first consisted of juvenile delinquents who had been moderately involved with criminal peers, who had committed offenses under the influence of drugs, and who came from a dysfunctional family. The second was characterized by having been severely involved with criminal peers and having had criminal family members. Presenting with depressive symptoms in childhood was associated with a low risk of violent criminal behavior. These constellations bear clinical importance as they provide targets for personalized interventions.

Menno Segeren, Thijs Fassaert, Matty de Wit & Arne Popma
BMC Crime Science, Volume 9, Article number: 2 (2020)
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