Risk Factors Ages 12–17

Individual

Antisocial/delinquent beliefs* Associated Programs

Indicators Data Sources
Data not likely available except in local studies

Drug dealing Associated Programs

Indicators Data Sources
Juvenile drug-dealing arrest rate Local police department

Early dating/sexual activity/fatherhood* Associated Programs

Indicators Data Sources
Adolescent pregnancies ages 12–14 State or local health departments, National Vital Statistics Report
Adolescent pregnancies ages 15–19 State or local health departments, National Vital Statistics Report
Births to mothers ages 13–19 State or local health departments, National Vital Statistics Report
Sexual activity among high school students CDC Youth Risk Behavior Surveys
Sexually transmitted disease (STD) reports Local health department

Few social ties (involved in social activities, popularity) Associated Programs

Indicators Data Sources
Juvenile/family court risk and treatment needs assessment Juvenile/family court

General delinquency involvement* Associated Programs

Indicators Data Sources
Juvenile arrest rate Local police department
Juvenile/family court referral/adjudication rate Local juvenile/family court

High alcohol/drug use* Associated Programs

Indicators Data Sources
AOD emergency room episodes ER records/interviews
Child/adolescent use of alcohol and other drugs Monitoring the Future Study, Volume 1, student surveys
Juvenile arrests for alcohol/drug use Local police department
Juvenile arrests for alcohol-related offenses Local police department
Juvenile arrests for driving under the influence Local police department
Juvenile arrests for drug abuse violations Local police department
Juvenile arrests for drug-related offenses Local police department
Juvenile arrests for drunkenness Local police department
Juvenile arrests for liquor law violations Local police department
Juvenile/family court referrals for alcohol/drug use Local juvenile/family court

High drug dealing Associated Programs

Indicators Data Sources
Multiple incidents of drug selling Local police department arrest data, local juvenile/family court records, student surveys

Illegal gun ownership/carrying Associated Programs

Indicators Data Sources
Juvenile gun confiscations at school School district records
Juvenile weapons/gun violation arrests Local police department, FBI Crime in the United States report
Self-report of gun carrying Student surveys, CDC Youth Risk Behavior Surveys

Lack of guilt and empathy* Associated Programs

Indicators Data Sources
Behavior profile Interview with youth/parent reports

Life stressors* Associated Programs

Indicators Data Sources
Being suspended or expelled from school Local school district reports
Breaking up with a boyfriend/girlfriend Self-report
Death of someone close Self-report
Failing a course at school Local school district reports
Having a big fight or problem with a friend Self-report

Low psychosocial maturity (low temperance, responsibility, and perspective)* Associated Programs

Indicators Data Sources
Low temperance, responsibility, and perspective Psychological tests/interview with youth

Makes excuses for delinquent behavior (neutralization)* Associated Programs

Indicators Data Sources
Personality characteristic Student surveys and clinical assessments

Mental health problems* Associated Programs

Indicators Data Sources
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder School district reports
Bullying Student surveys
Emotional disturbance Elementary and secondary students: programs for the disabled
Juvenile arrest rate for curfew, vandalism, and disorderly conduct Local police department
Juvenile detainees diagnosed with mental health treatment needs Local juvenile/family court, detention center
Juvenile/family court referral/adjudication rate for curfew, vandalism, and disorderly conduct Local juvenile/family court
Juvenile/family court treatment needs assessments Local juvenile/family court
Social adjustment assessments of children referred to city/county social service agencies Local agency data
Students served in programs classified as Behaviorally or Emotionally Handicapped (BEH) School district records
Treatment needs assessments of adolescents referred to juvenile/family courts Local juvenile/family court
Truancy School district records, Trends in the Well-Being of America’s Children and Youth

Physical violence/aggression* Associated Programs

Indicators Data Sources
Local police department
Juvenile/family court referral/adjudication rate for violence Local juvenile/family court

Violent victimization* Associated Programs

Indicators Data Sources
Forced to have sexual intercourse CDC Youth Risk Behavior Surveys
Hit, slapped, or physically hurt on purpose by their boyfriend or girlfriend (i.e., dating violence) Student surveys and CDC Youth Risk Behavior Surveys
Injured in a physical fight Student surveys and CDC Youth Risk Behavior Surveys
Juvenile violent victimization rate Local student survey
Threatened or injured with a weapon (e.g., a gun, knife, or club) on school property Student surveys and CDC Youth Risk Behavior Surveys

Family

Antisocial parents Associated Programs

Indicators Data Sources
Adult arrests for various crimes Local police/sheriff’s department
Family assessments of children referred to juvenile/family courts and city/county social service agencies Local agency data

Broken home/changes in caretaker* Associated Programs

Indicators Data Sources
Change of custody orders Local juvenile/family court, local child welfare agency
Children in neighborhoods with a high rate of female-headed families Population Reference Bureau, analysis of data from 2010 census-by-census tract
Children with one or more parents in jail/prison Data may not be available
Divorce rate County clerk or recorder, U.S. Bureau of the Census, Statistical Abstract of the U.S.
Divorce rate for parents with children under age 18 Data may not be available
Number of latchkey children among referrals to child welfare agency Local department of social services
Placements in foster care facilities Local department of social services
Proportion of children in nonintact families referred to juvenile/family courts and city/county social service agencies Local agency data

Delinquent siblings* Associated Programs

Indicators Data Sources
Risk and treatment needs assessments of children and families referred to juvenile/family courts and city/county social service agencies Local agencies, student survey

Family history of problem behavior/criminal involvement Associated Programs

Indicators Data Sources
Adult criminal arrest rate Local police/sheriff’s department
Adults in drug treatment programs Medicaid claims for alcohol and substance use, state alcohol and other drug treatment agencies, local treatment programs, U.S. Bureau of the Census, Statistical Abstract of the U.S.
Babies born with fetal alcohol syndrome Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System, CDC
Educational attainment U.S. Bureau of the Census, Statistical Abstract of the U.S.
Low adult literacy National Adult Literacy Survey
Parental assessments of children referred to juvenile/family courts Local agency data and city/county social service agencies
Parental assessments of children referred to juvenile/family courts and city/county social service agencies Local agency data
Pregnant mothers using alcohol Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System, CDC

Family poverty/low family socioeconomic status* Associated Programs

Indicators Data Sources
Families eligible for Free and Reduced Lunch Program State welfare agency
Families on Temporary Assistance for Needy Families State welfare agency
Families/persons/children living below poverty level U.S. Bureau of the Census
Food Stamp Program recipients State welfare agency
Median family income U.S. Bureau of the Census
Unemployment rate U.S. Bureau of the Census

Family violence (child maltreatment, partner violence, conflict) Associated Programs

Indicators Data Sources
911 calls for domestic violence Local police/sheriff’s department
Child abuse and neglect rate Child Protective Services, U.S. Bureau of the Census, Statistical Abstract of the U.S.
Domestic violence arrests Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics
Murders of intimate others Local police/sheriff’s department
Protective Orders written Child Protective Services
Requests for social service intervention, city/county social service agencies Local agency data
Treatment needs assessments of adolescents referred to juvenile/family courts Local juvenile/family court
Unpaid child support U.S. Bureau of the Census, Statistical Abstract of the U.S.

Having a teenage mother Associated Programs

Indicators Data Sources
Births to mothers ages 13 to 19 State or local health departments

High parental stress/maternal depression Associated Programs

Indicators Data Sources
Ability to handle problems Family surveys
Risk and treatment needs assessments of children and families referred to juvenile/family courts and city/county social service agencies Local agencies

Lack of orderly and structured activities within the family Associated Programs

Indicators Data Sources
Degree to which the activities and relationships in the family are performed in an orderly, structured, and rule-governed way Local juvenile/family court family needs assessment, student survey

Lived/living with a gang member* Associated Programs

Indicators Data Sources
Self-admission Youth interviews

Low parent education* Associated Programs

Indicators Data Sources
Education level of parents School district reports
Families eligible for Free and Reduced Lunch Program State welfare agency

Low parental attachment to child/adolescent* Associated Programs

Indicators Data Sources
Risk and treatment needs assessments of children referred to juvenile/family courts and city/county social service agencies Local agency data

Moved to a new neighborhood* Associated Programs

Indicators Data Sources
Self-admission Youth interviews

Parental use of physical punishment/harsh and/or erratic discipline practices Associated Programs

Indicators Data Sources
Child abuse and neglect rate Child Protective Services
Education level of parents School district reports
Families eligible for Free and Reduced Lunch Program State welfare agency
Families on Temporary Assistance for Needy Families State welfare agency
Food Stamp Program recipients State welfare agency
Reports to CPS of harsh physical punishment Child Protective Services
Treatment needs assessments of adolescents referred to social services Local social service agency

Poor parental supervision (control, monitoring, and child management)* Associated Programs

Indicators Data Sources
Arrests for runaway by age 16 Local police department
Child abuse and neglect rate Child Protective Services, U.S. Bureau of the Census, Statistical Abstract of the U.S.
Children living outside the family/placements in foster care facilities Local department of social services, U.S. Bureau of the Census, Statistical Abstract of the U.S.
Number of latchkey children among referrals to child welfare agency Local department of social services
Parental involvement in child’s school U.S. Bureau of the Census, Statistical Abstract of the U.S.
Placements in foster care facilities Local department of social services
Treatment needs assessments of adolescents referred to juvenile/family courts Local juvenile/family court

Poor parent-child relations or communication Associated Programs

Indicators Data Sources
Family assessments of children referred to juvenile/family courts and city/county social service agencies Local agency data

School

Bullying Associated Programs

Indicators Data Sources
Child exhibited cruelty, intimidating, or meanness toward peers Student and teacher surveys

Frequent school transitions Associated Programs

Indicators Data Sources
New students and transfers Local school district records

Low academic aspirations* Associated Programs

Indicators Data Sources
Data not likely available except in local studies

Low math achievement test scores (males)* Associated Programs

Indicators Data Sources
Math proficiency by grade School district reports

Low parent college expectations for child* Associated Programs

Indicators Data Sources
Data not likely available except in local studies

Low school attachment/bonding/motivation/commitment to school* Associated Programs

Indicators Data Sources
Excessive suspensions and expulsions School district reports
Excessive zero tolerance punishments School district reports
Number of days absent from school School district reports
Reports of corporal punishment in schools School district reports
Unreasonable zero tolerance rules School conduct rules/policies

Poor school attitude/performance; academic failure* Associated Programs

Indicators Data Sources
Dropout rates Local school district
End-of-year testing/competency exams by grade School district reports
Graduation rates Local school district
Math proficiency by grade School district reports
Performance composite of public schools School district reports
Reading proficiency by grade School district reports
Risk and treatment needs assessments of adolescents referred to juvenile/family courts Local juvenile/family court

Poorly organized and functioning schools/inadequate school climate/negative labeling by teachers* Associated Programs

Indicators Data Sources
Enrollments in special education School district reports
Excessive suspensions and expulsions School district reports
Excessive zero tolerance punishments School conduct rules/policies
Graduation rates Local school district
High dropout rate Local school district reports; Population Reference Bureau, analysis of data from 2010 census-by-census tract
Large classes (larger than 25 students in elementary school; larger than 36 students in middle school) School district reports
Mental health referrals for various problems Local mental health center records
Physical decay of schools School district reports
Poorly defined rules and expectations for appropriate conduct School code of conduct rules/policies
Reports of corporal punishment in schools School district reports
School disciplinary actions/referrals School district records
Teacher attitudes/job satisfaction School district reports
Teacher exposure to abuse by students School district reports, Monitoring the Future Study
Underfunded schools School district office, state education departments
Unreasonable zero tolerance rules Interviews

Unsafe schools* Associated Programs

Indicators Data Sources
Disruptive/dangerous school environment (e.g., suspensions and expulsions for fighting) School district reports
Violence/crime in schools School district reports, YRBS (seven violence-related behaviors)

Community

Availability and use of drugs in the neighborhood* Associated Programs

Indicators Data Sources
Adolescent/student drug use levels Local studies and YRBS survey
Adolescent/student surveys of drug use Local studies and YRBS survey
Juvenile/adult arrests for drug abuse violations Local police department
Perceived availability of drugs Monitoring the Future Study, Volume 1
Total alcoholic beverage sales by location Statistical Abstract of the U.S.
Trends in exposure to drug use Monitoring the Future Study, Volume 1

Availability of firearms* Associated Programs

Indicators Data Sources
Adult arrests for weapons law violations Local police/sheriff’s department/ATF
Firearms in homes of adults State Licensing Board and reports from local firearm dealers
Illegal gun confiscations Local police/sheriff’s department/ATF
Juvenile arrests for weapons law violations Local police/sheriff’s department

Community disorganization* Associated Programs

Indicators Data Sources
Nonenforcement of building violations/condemned buildings Local Housing and Urban Development office
Poor external housing conditions Local Housing and Urban Development office
Prevalence of homeless families/individuals National Coalition for the Homeless

Economic deprivation/poverty/residence in a disadvantaged neighborhood* Associated Programs

Indicators Data Sources
Children in working-poor families Kids Count Data Book
Families eligible for Free and Reduced Lunch Program State welfare agency, U.S. Bureau of the Census, Statistical Abstract of the U.S.
Families on Temporary Assistance for Needy Families State welfare agency, U.S. Bureau of the Census, Statistical Abstract of the U.S.
Families/persons/children living below poverty level U.S. Bureau of the Census, Statistical Abstract of the U.S.
Female family householder with no spouse present U.S. Bureau of the Census, Statistical Abstract of the U.S.
Food Stamp Program recipients State welfare agency, U.S. Bureau of the Census, Statistical Abstract of the U.S.
Individuals/children without health insurance U.S. Bureau of the Census, Statistical Abstract of the U.S.
Median family income U.S. Bureau of the Census, Statistical Abstract of the U.S.
Unemployment rate U.S. Bureau of the Census, Statistical Abstract of the U.S.

Exposure to violence and racial prejudice Associated Programs

Indicators Data Sources
Adolescent abuse and neglect rate (ages 12–16) Child Protective Services
Adult and juvenile violent crime arrest rates Local police department
Disproportionate minority representation in juvenile justice system Local police department, juvenile/family court, and corrections
Domestic violence arrests and convictions Local police department and criminal court
Hate crimes Local police department
Treatment needs assessments of adolescents referred to juvenile/family courts Local juvenile/family court

Feeling unsafe in the neighborhood* Associated Programs

Indicators Data Sources
Adult violent crime Local police/sheriff’s department, adult criminal court
Did not go to school because of safety concerns Student surveys, CDC Youth Risk Behavior Surveys
Juvenile violent crime Law enforcement agencies and juvenile/family court, CDC Youth Risk Behavior Surveys
Presence of documented gangs Local police/sheriff’s department, National Youth Gang Survey
Threatened or injured with a weapon (e.g., gun, knife, or club) on school property Student surveys and CDC Youth Risk Behavior Surveys

High drug dealing Associated Programs

Indicators Data Sources
Multiple incidents of drug selling Local police department arrest data, local juvenile/family court records, student surveys

High-crime neighborhood* Associated Programs

Indicators Data Sources
Absence of Neighborhood Watch organizations Local police/sheriff’s departments
Adult arrest/conviction rate for alcohol-related charges Local law enforcement agencies, Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics
Adult arrest/conviction rate for drug-related charges Local law enforcement agencies, Statistical Abstract of the U.S.
Adult arrest/conviction rate for DUI Local law enforcement agencies, Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics
Adult arrest/conviction rate for property crimes Local law enforcement agencies, Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics
Adult arrest/conviction rate for violent crimes Local law enforcement agencies and criminal court
Adult arrest/conviction rate for weapons-related charges Local law enforcement agencies and criminal court
Alcohol-related traffic fatalities Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics
Juvenile arrest/adjudication rate Law enforcement agencies and juvenile/family court
Murder rate FBI, Crime in the United States
Presence of youth/street gangs Local police/sheriff’s department, National Youth Gang Survey
Public drunkenness Local police/sheriff’s department

Low neighborhood attachment* Associated Programs

Indicators Data Sources
Net migration rate U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services/U.S. Bureau of the Census
Prevalence of homeless families/individuals National Coalition for the Homeless, homeless shelters

Neighborhood physical disorder Associated Programs

Indicators Data Sources
Graffiti/vandalism Local police/sheriff’s department, systematic observations
Nonenforcement of building code violations/condemned buildings City/county government agency
Poor external housing conditions Local Housing and Urban Development office, U.S. Bureau of the Census, Statistical Abstract of the U.S.
Presence of graffiti/beer or liquor cans or bottles/cigarette butts/litter or broken glass/abandoned cars Systematic observations

Neighborhood youth in trouble* Associated Programs

Indicators Data Sources
Juvenile detention rate Juvenile/family court/detention center
School suspensions and expulsions for fighting School district reports

Peer

Association with antisocial/aggressive/delinquent peers; high peer delinquency* Associated Programs

Indicators Data Sources
Risk and treatment needs assessments of children referred to juvenile/family courts Local agency data

Association with gang-involved peers/relatives* Associated Programs

Indicators Data Sources
Friends and/or relatives are gang members Student surveys, local juvenile/family court

Gang membership Associated Programs

Indicators Data Sources
Documented gang members Local law enforcement, courts, probation
Undocumented gang members Self-reporting in local studies
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