Effect of family factors on juvenile delinquency

Indiran Rathinabalan, Sridevi A. Naaraayan


Background: Juvenile delinquency is multifactorial with risk factors operating at multiple levels namely individual, micro environment and macro environment levels. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of family factors on juvenile delinquency.

Methods: This was a case control study done from January 2009 to December 2009. Adolescents present in the Government run Special observation home were cases, while boys of 10, 11, and 12 standards in a government school served as controls. Data on demographic details, offence committed and family factors were collected using a structured proforma. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to determine which of the factors acted as risk factors for juvenile delinquency.

Results: Totally sixty juveniles and an equal number of school students were interviewed. Paternal age above 50 years, paternal smoking, alcohol intake, substance abuse and involvement in crime, maternal education and employment, being born as a single child, having separated parents or single parent were significant family factors identified in univariate analysis. Paternal age more than 50 years, paternal smoking, maternal employment and single parent emerged as significant risk factors in regression analysis.

Conclusions: Paternal age more than 50 years, paternal smoking, maternal employment and single parent are significant independent risk factors of juvenile delinquency. 


Family factors, Juvenile delinquency, Maternal employment, Paternal smoking

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