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Risk and Protective Factors of Child Delinquency

The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention has begun to issue a series of bulletins on child delinquency to provide the public and policy-makers with the latest research dealing with the prevention and reduction of this growing problem. As this first bulletin suggests in its introduction, "Preventing delinquency early in a child's life can pay significant dividends by reducing crime rates and decreasing crime-related expenditures of tax dollars." This particular 16-page bulletin, released in April 2003, deals with the risk and protective factors that are involved in developing effective early intervention and protection programs for juvenile offenders under the age of 13. The report begins with a brief discussion of previous research in the area, and continues on to identify some of the key risk factors that may lead to a young person's involvement with illegal and violent activities. As the report concludes, the authors note that there is no single risk factor that may indicate that a juvenile will develop a tendency towards these behaviors, but that early intervention programs have demonstrated some measure of success.
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