Environmental factors, which include both static and dynamic factors, are also believed to play a significant role in the proper development of a child.It was found that low-income children had a significantly higher risk of antisocial behavior before the age of 5, leading to criminal behavior in adolescence in mixed neighborhoods, compared to those living in concentrated poverty. Non-poor children are also associated with higher levels of antisocial behavior when living in mixed neighborhoods, compared to children surrounded by equally affluent families. Although these individuals are at higher risk of becoming delinquent, the majority of children living in poverty or mixed neighborhoods do not grow to become juvenile offenders; this is referred to as resiliency, a term used to describe an individual’s ability to grow into an adult who lives a socially acceptable lifestyle, despite the exposure to any negative risk factors.
Family factors can include parenting practices, divorce, and family size. It has been found that the families of children with conduct problems are eight times more likely to be involved in disciplinary conflict, and are half as likely to engage in positive interactions with parents and other family members. Poor communication, supervision, and disciplinary practices, increases the risk of antisocial behavior in adolescence. Physical and verbal parental abuse place a child at increased risk for becoming violent offenders before reaching the age of 18. One study claims that 20% of children that are abused become delinquent in adolescence. Although divorce has been correlated with noncompliance and antisocial behaviors, it is still unclear how much of an effect divorce has on a child when factoring in other co-occurring risks. Family size, even when other factors are considered, has been associated with juvenile delinquency. Regardless of socioeconomic status, boys who have four or more siblings before the age of ten are twice as likely to offend compared to those with less siblings.
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