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Protective and risk factors associated with criminal behaviour in adolescents: a systematic review


KeywordsTriple Keywords
Populations, Human
Population growth
Human populations
Human population
Context (Linguistics)
Grammar, Comparative and general--Context
Situation (Linguistics)
Mental philosophy
Behavioral sciences
Science, Mental
World literature
Western literature (Western countries)
Least restrictive environment
Inclusive schools movement
Inclusive education
Inclusive learning
Inclusion (Education)


Summary juvenile delinquency implies the implementation of conduct that is criminalised under a legal framework by a population who has no full legal responsibilities. Given the biological, cognitive and social changes that come together during adolescence, the theoretical context should be enriched from psychology on the variables that affect the emergence of behaviours that are criminalised during this life period. For this reason, the aim of this work was to describe the risk and protection factors for the manifestation of criminal behaviour during adolescence. The method developed consisted of a systematic review of the literature, namely empirical articles published in Spanish and English in Scopus and Redalyc databases in a time window from January 1998 to June 2019. As a result, a total of 2,202 studies were found, after the screening and verification of the exclusion and inclusion criteria, 41 items were selected as units of analysis. Based on the ecological model of Bronfenbrenner (1987), the full text reading of the selected articles identified 16 risk factors in the micro-system and four in the exosystem, in addition to 13 factors of the personal dimension. Similarly, security factors were found, seven within the microsystem, one in the exosystem, and seven within the personal dimension. The discussion of the results focuses on the considerations to be taken into account in the programmes for the prevention and intervention of conduct classified as a criminal offence in adolescents.

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