skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 228737 Find in a Library
Title: Perceived Barriers and Protective Factors of Juvenile Offenders on Their Developmental Pathway to Adulthood
Journal: Journal of Correctional Education  Volume:60  Issue:3  Dated:September 2009  Pages:201-224
Author(s): Deanne Unruh Ph.D.; Tiana Povenmire-Kirk; Scott Yamamoto
Date Published: September 2009
Page Count: 24
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study identified the risk and protective factors for criminal behaviors perceived by 51 adjudicated adolescents in the course of their developmental pathway to adulthood.
Abstract: The adolescents identified their own positive or negative decisionmaking skills as a determinant of the likelihood of their continuing or stopping their criminal activity. Although the adolescents took responsibility for their choices, they often mentioned the influences of nonsupportive parents and negative peer associations. The development of positive, prosocial friendships was viewed as a protective factor that encouraged positive decisionmaking and prevention of drug use and delinquent behavior. Seventy-two percent of respondents mentioned strong emotional support from family members as a protective factor for the development of positive adult behaviors. Fifty-one percent of the youth identified access to drugs in their community as a barrier to successful community adjustment. Respondents also mentioned the lack of access to positive leisure activities in their communities as a barrier to their positive development. As an alternative to gang membership and drug and alcohol use, respondents mentioned access to sports, hunting and fishing, skateboarding parks, and libraries as protective influences. Less than 25 percent of the respondents mentioned the ability to live independently as a protective factor. This related to their perceptions of weak or negative support from family and peers. The ability to live independently was related to factors of education, affordable housing, and the skills needed to find and perform well in jobs. Based on these findings, this study recommends that treatment planning and intervention for youth by tailored to individual characteristics and the development of skills for positive associations and decisions relative to peers, employers, family, and community environments. Study data were obtained from 1-on-1 interviews with 51 juvenile offenders conducted from 1999 through 2002 as part of assessments for the implementation of a re-entry intervention for adjudicated youth. The interviews focused on the youths’ perceptions of potential supports and barriers to their successful transition from adolescence to adulthood. 1 table, 1 figure, and 47 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile delinquency factors
Index Term(s): Adolescent attitudes; Attitude measurement; Environmental influences; Juvenile delinquent family relations; Juvenile to adult criminal careers; Parental influence; Peer influences on behavior; Social conditions; Youth development
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.