This report identifies factors and events in childhood that either increase or reduce the probability of young people committing criminal acts. This study may also help generate new ideas in preventive work. Among other things, the results show that marginalisation at an early age increases the probability of youth crime. For example, 15-year-olds are more likely to commit crime if their parents have received a suspended or unconditional sentence, if the mother has an alcohol problem, or if the child has conflicts with friends at the age of 7 years. The report identifies the 20% most vulnerable 7-year-olds and looks at the risks and protection factors that apply when the children reach 11 years old. For example, being happy with life is a protection factor, whereas an early alcohol debut or spending a lot of time at friends' homes are risk factors. The results indicate that, in order to prevent youth crime, broad and early intervention in the children’s families is important. Furthermore, initiatives targeted at 11-year-olds should focus on well-being, social relationships and risky behaviour at an early age. The study was and financed by the Danish Crime Prevention Council.
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SFI - Det Nationale Forskningscenter for Velfærd