Risk and protective factors of youth crime: An umbrella review
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Curtin University, School of Population Health, Curtin University, Perth, Australia
Publication date: 2023-04-26
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A1269
Background and Objective:
Several systematic reviews and meta-analyses have been conducted on the risk and protective factors of youth crime. This study aims to consolidate this evidence using an umbrella review methodology.

A systematic electronic search was conducted on Web of Science, PubMed, PsychINFO, and Scopus to identify relevant studies. The protocol was registered in PROSPERO (CRD4201707652), and A Measurement Tool to Assess Systematic Reviews (AMSTAR) was used to assess the quality of the studies. Inverse variance weighted fixed- and random-effect meta-analysis was conducted to pool odds ratios from the included studies.

In total, 29 systematic reviews and meta-analyses were sourced. Sixty-three risk and protective factors of youth crime were considered in the final analysis and grouped into individual, family, school, social, and victim-level risk domains. Within the individual risk domains, substance use, previous history of crime, moral development, psychopathology, genetics, and adverse childhood experiences were key predictors of youth crime. At the family level, the main risk factors included poor parental supervision, maltreatment or neglect, lower educational level, and poor attachment. Whereas school bullying and negative school climate were identified as important risk factors for youth crime within the school domain. Additionally, economic inequality, discrimination, and peer pressure from the social domain, gender, age, and the relationship of the offender with the victims within the victim domain were found to be important risk factors for youth crime. Effective parental supervision, good attachment, and supportive school environments were found to be protective.

The evidence-based atlas of key risk and protective factors identified in this umbrella review could be used as a benchmark for advancing research, prevention and early intervention strategies for youth crime.