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Revista Criminalidad

Print version ISSN 1794-3108


BOBBIO, Antonella; LORENZINO, Leticia  and  ARBACH, Karin. Family, neighborhood, and society: a comparative study carried out in Argentina among youth with and without criminal backgrounds. Rev. Crim. [online]. 2016, vol.58, n.1, pp.81-95. ISSN 1794-3108.

Juvenile crime is one of the most troubling and distressing phenomenon worldwide, in very different countries and cultures. Numerous theories have been systematically tested in many attempts aimed at explaining the influence of different variables in some young people's defiant and hostile behavior. This work uses the design of a case-control study to compare the distribution of family and social variables among adolescents living in conflict with criminal law and school-going youngsters belonging to the general population of Argentina having answered to a series of self-reporting questionnaires. Results indicate that, as compared with young students, juvenile offenders have been exposed to less positive support and control practices from parents, while usually living in coexistence groups mostly characterized by monoparental homes where the prevailing presence is that of the mother. It was also reported that most of these youngsters' friends are involved in antisocial activities; in addition, vandalism, abandoned houses, theft and burglary are common in their environment, as well as aggressive relations and hostile conduct among their neighbors. None of both adolescent groups differed in what concerns involvement in recreational activities. This study is an innovative empirical approach to the juvenile delinquency issue among adolescents in Argentina. The consequences of findings at both theoretical and practical levels are discussed by taking into account the peculiarities envisaged in the context of this work.

Keywords : Juvenile delinquency; family; social factors; criminological theories.

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