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Key Risk Factors in Kids
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(Taken  from  Florida Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Prevention)

 

Extensive research has identified risk factors for crime and violence (Tolan and Guerra, 1994; Reiss and Roth, 1993; Dryfoos, 1990), and substance abuse (Kandel, Simcha-Fagan, and Davies, 1986; Hawkins, Catalano, and Miller, 1992). These risk factors exist within the communities in which children develop, as well as within families, schools, peer groups, and within each individual. Some risk factors can be reduced; others cannot. After identifying and setting priorities of risk factors that can be changed, communities can design prevention efforts to reduce known risk factors. However, it is equally important to know which risk factors cannot be modified, because this helps identify populations that should receive protective interventions.

  A summary of the risk factors and the problem behaviors they predict follow the table.

 

Risk Factor

Substance
Abuse

Delinquency

Teenage
Pregnancy

School
Dropout

Violence

Community

Availability of Drugs

X

       

Availability of Firearms

 

X

   

X

Community Laws and Norms Favorable Toward Drug Use, Firearms, and Crime

X

X

   

X

Media Portrayals of Violence

       

X

Transitions and Mobility

X

X

 

X

 

Low Neighborhood Attachment and Community Organization

X

X

   

X

Extreme Economic Deprivation

X

X

X

X

X

Family

Family History of the Problem Behavior

X

X

X

X

 

Family Management Problems

X

X

X

X

X

Family Conflict

X

X

X

X

X

Favorable Parental Attitudes and Involvement in the Problem Behavior

X

X

   

X

School

Early and Persistent Antisocial Behavior

X

X

X

X

X

Academic Failure Beginning in Elementary School

X

X

X

X

X

Lack of Commitment to School

X

X

X

X

 

Individual - Peer

Rebelliousness

X

X

 

X

 

Friends Who Engage in the Problem Behavior

X

X

X

X

X

Favorable Attitudes Toward the Problem Behavior

X

X

X

X

 

Early Initiation of the Problem Behavior

X

X

X

X

 

Constitutional Factors

X

X

   

X

 


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Revised: August 03, 2002 .