Article

Predictors of Violent Young Offenders

David P. Farrington

in The Oxford Handbook of Juvenile Crime and Juvenile Justice

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780195385106
Published online September 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780195385106.013.0007

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Predictors of Violent Young Offenders

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The most basic definition of violence is behavior that is intended to cause, and that actually does cause, physical or psychological injury. This article reviews what is known about childhood predictors of youthful violent offending. It focuses on knowledge gained in studies of individual offenders. It begins by reviewing the development of violent offending, including prevalence at different ages, continuity, and specialization or versatility in offending. Following this, the article reviews knowledge about major individual, family, and socioeconomic risk factors. It also investigates how accurately violent offenders can be predicted in childhood. It focuses on knowledge gained in major prospective longitudinal studies of offending, discussing risk and protective factors. These results are likely to be useful in developing risk assessment instruments. Finally, the article discusses the major policy implications and calls for early prevention instead of later treatment in the juvenile and criminal justice system.

Keywords: violence; childhood predictors; violent offending; risk factors; longitudinal studies; risk assessment instruments

Article.  10666 words. 

Subjects: Criminology and Criminal Justice ; Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice

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