Social risk factors for
involvement in crime
This brief provides an introductory discussion of five areas of social risk factors for involvement in crime: family, education, economics, community and peers, and alcohol and other drugs.
Family environment and parental
behaviour are important risk or
protective factors for
involvement in crime because of
their influence on a child’s
Parental behaviours play a strong role in shaping a child’s risk of later involvement in criminality.
Parental criminality appears to be strongly correlated with an increased risk of a child of developing conduct problems and later criminal involvement. The influence of parental criminality is complex because of the multiple mechanisms (shared
environmental factors, genetic and other biological risk factors, negative modelling by parents) involved that potentially pass on a parent’s risk of criminal involvement to their child.
Poor parenting practices, such as poor parental supervision and parents’ rejection of a child, are modest predictors of subsequent delinquency by the child. Children who experience severe or
harsh parental practices have increased rates of conduct
problems, substance abuse, depression and anxiety and violent crime in early adulthood, compared to those whose parents did not use physical punishment.
Family violence and maltreatment of children have significant inter-generational effects on an individual’s likelihood of becoming involved in crime. Some research suggests that maltreatment
during childhood doubles an individual’s probability of engaging in many types of crime.
The effect of family influences appear to be greatest during the early years of a child’s life and reduces as they get older, although poor parental supervision and low levels of warmth between
parents and their teenage children have also been identified as a contributing risk factors for future offending.
Please join StudyMode to read the full document