Browsing by Subject "delinquency"

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  • Jouhki, Virpi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    Goals. Juvenile delinquency has inspired many different theories on the causes of crime. At this moment, there is enough evidence to believe that there are at least two subgroups of juveniles, with different developmental pathways to criminal involvement. In the field of criminology there has been concern on the pattern of criminal offending which has lead to hypothesis regarding offence specialization versus versatility. Majority of research conducted to this day suggest that juveniles are versatile offenders who engage in all types of criminal or antisocial behaviors. However, the developmental view anticipate different pattern of offending for different subgroups of delinquent youths. This study focuses on individual differences in crime according to Big Five personality traits. The Big Five has been used in several studies of crime and personality and the relationship between them has been well documented. However, little is known how personality traits are related to different types of crime. The purpose of this study is to explore how personality traits are related to different types of crime and furthermore are there differences in offence specialization versus versatility according to personality traits. Methods. This study employs the data from the nationwide survey on youth crime and victimization conducted by the National Research Institute of Legal Policy. A total of 4855 ninth grade students completed a self-report survey questionnaire. The BFI-S (Big Five inventory short) personality instrument was used to measure personality traits. This study investigates personality traits in relation to four crime types: 1) property offences, 2) theft, 3) violence and 4) alcohol and drug use. Structural equation modeling (SEM) was used to explore whether the versatility hypothesis of criminal acts holds true according to personality traits. Results and conclusions. Conscientiousness, agreeableness and extraversion were found to be associated with crime among students, which was in line with the previous research. In addition, the result suggested that personality traits are differently linked to different types of crime. Risk for engaging in alcohol and drug use was characterized by high extraversion and low conscientiousness whereas low agreeableness was found to increase the risk for violent offending. Theoretically the results of this study are interpreted as a counter evidence for versatility hypothesis on the nature of juvenile delinquency, even though no direct evidence for the offence specialization was found. Still, juvenile delinquency might not be as versatile behavior as it has been considered but moreover, individuals with different personality characteristics may be prone towards different types of delinquent acts. The role of violence as the most "pathological" form of antisocial behavior is discussed in relation of previous theory and research as well as the findings of this study.
  • Knaappila, Noora; Marttunen, Mauri; Fröjd, Sari; Lindberg, Nina; Kaltiala-Heino, Riittakerttu (2019)
    Background: Scientific literature suggests that the prevalence of delinquency amongst adolescents has decreased internationally in past decades. However, whether this change is consistent across all socioeconomic groups has not yet been studied. Objective: The aim of this study was to examine changes in delinquency amongst Finnish adolescents according to socioeconomic status between 2000 and 2015. Method: A population-based school survey was conducted biennially amongst 14-16-year-old Finns between 2000 and 2015 (n = 761,278). Distributions for delinquency and socioeconomic adversities (low parental education, not living with both parents and parental unemployment in the past year) were calculated using crosstabs. Associations between delinquency, time, and socioeconomic adversities were studied using binomial logistic regression results shown by odds ratios with 95 % confidence intervals. Results: Delinquency was positively associated with all three socioeconomic adversities studied and cumulative socioeconomic adversity. Although the prevalence of delinquency varied only slightly between 2000 and 2015 in the overall population, it increased significantly amongst adolescents with most socioeconomic adversities. Conclusions: The findings indicate that socioeconomic differences in delinquency have increased amongst Finnish adolescents in past decades. Delinquency prevention and intervention programs should take socioeconomic adversities into account.
  • Saarnio, Tuula (2003)
    This study describes youth delinquency and researches related to the subject. Criminality is generally seen as a biological, psychological or social phenomenon. The essential theories or points of view attempting to explain and/or understand the criminal acts of young people are in sociological research stigmatisation theory, subculture theory, social learning theories, anomy theory and control theory. In psychological research the most common reflection angles are behaviour of human being and different individual traits such as self-control, aggressiveness or extroversion. The aim of my study is to research experiences and conceptions of young people, who has committed crime and participated in other forbidden activities. Special attention has heen paid to their experiences and thoughts about crime, living in the gang, human relationships, values and plans for the future. The target group for the study are twelve young criminals, who were 16 to 19 years old when they were interviewed. The research method was theme interview. the rest of the research material consists among others of preliminary police hearing reports, documents including basic data of young people, observations of the researcher, documents of social office and sentences of the young people. The method of analysis has been content analysis. Most of the crines were related to cars, alcohol, drugs and cigarettes. Some of the young criminals had also committed crime such as fraud and assault. The boys had more free time than young people usually have, because they did not like the school. School was considered as a boring place. The most important persons in the youth's life were their pals. The relation to the parents were quite chilly. The boys did not condemn criminality, only severe crimes (murder) were not accepted. The future prospects were quite optimistic, although only a few of the boys had any plans for the future. The most significant matters in this research have been experience of success, no regret and no realistic future prospects.
  • Kouvonen, Anne (2002)
    The purpose of the present research is to increase our knowledge about adolescent part-time work during the school year, and to examine the association between work and deviant behaviour among Finnish lower-level secondary school students. Three data (Finnish Self-Report Delinquency Studies 1998 and 2001, and School Health Promotion Survey 2000) were analysed in four separate articles. In addition, the study includes the summary article. In two of the original papers the relationship between adolescent part-time work and delinquency was studied, one article explored the association between work and heavy drinking while the remaining one examined the relationship between work and drug use. There is a sound basis for a generalisation of the results for 14 to 16 year-olds. The study shows that there is a significant association between intensive (more than 10 hrs per week) adolescent part-time work and an increased likelihood of delinquency, heavy drinking and drug use. Intensive work and 'adult-like' jobs do not keep adolescents 'off the streets' or 'out of trouble'. Part-time work cannot therefore be used as a strategy for preventing deviant behaviour. However, intensive work was not among the factors most strongly associated with an increased likelihood of deviant behaviour. Common criminological variables, such as parental control and peer-related variables, as well as other relevant variables, such as gender and disposable allowances, were more strongly associated with various types of delinquency. Similarly, low parental control was more strongly associated with an increased likelihood of heavy drinking and the use of drugs. Even so, after controlling several relevant variables, there still remained a significant association between intensive work and an increased likelihood of all deviant behaviours examined. In contrast, moderate work was mostly not associated with deviant behaviour. This research does not claim that adolescent work causes delinquency or substance use, or that work is always bad for adolescents. The study indicates that under certain conditions, working during the school year may be potentially harmful. Work as such is neither good nor bad. It is the characteristics of the job that is essential, among which the number of hours worked, is the most important.
  • Koivukangas, Jenny (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    Objectives Adolescents placed in reform schools (RS) are a special group with a risk for many types of lifetime problems. Previous studies on psychiatric morbidity among RS population indicate a wide spectrum of disorders among this population, but more representative information is needed. This follow-up study investigates the prevalence of psychiatric diagnoses among five cohorts of individuals with a history of RS placement. The prevalence rates are also compared to a matched general population sample. Methods The study sample consisted of a complete national cohort of all 1099 people placed in a reform school on the last day of the years 1991, 1996, 2001, 2006 or 2011, and information on psychiatric diagnoses, grouped into eight categories, was collected from the care register of specialized health care. The reform school subjects were compared to a population control group (n = 5437) matched by age, sex and place of birth, the follow-up time being 18 to 38 years. Results Among the individuals with a RS background, 57.4% had at least one diagnosis during the follow-up time, compared to 6.8% among the controls. 30.1% were diagnosed with conduct disorder and ADHD -category diagnosis, 26.4% with substance use disorder, 16.7% with affective disorder, 9.7% with personality disorder, 8.1% with schizophrenia spectrum disorder, 7.0% with mental retardation, 5.8% with disorder of psychological development, and 8.1% with other childhood disorder. All diagnoses were significantly more prevalent among the RS than control group. Conclusions The results of this study contribute to the earlier knowledge indicating that different psychiatric disorders are highly prevalent in RS population and that problems persist also after RS, reminding about the continuous need for support in this population.