The Risk Factors for Youth Offending From a Study of the Life Histories of Young Male Offenders in Vietnam

Quang Toan Le


In recent years, instances of youth offending have become more severe with the increase in the violent and serious crimes committed by young people. This paper investigates the risk factors for youth offending in Vietnam. Many previous studies have focused on the risk factors for youth offending. (Farrington & Welsh 2008; Hawkins et al. 2000; Shader 2001; Wasserman et al. 2003).However, research ofrisk factors for youth offending is less popular in Asian countries (Le, Monfared & Stockdale 2005). Moreover, there is almost no evidence that findings on risk factors associated with youth offending from Western studies can apply to Asian or other cultures (Chen & Astor 2010, p. 1389). Therefore, research on the risk factors for youth offending in Vietnam are still limited, and it is unsure if the identified risk factors for youth offending in previous studies could be applied in the Vietnamese contexts. Based on the literature review of life history research and youth offending, life history interviews were conducted with 30 male prisoners in three prisons in Vietnam, who had committed crimes when they were less than 18 years old. The data was then analysis to identify the most significant risk factors for youth offending. The identified risk factors for youth offending were categorized into five domains, including individual, family, school, peer-related, and community risk factors. The family and individual risk factors seemed to have most significant influences, while school violence, delinquent peers, and game/internet involvement were also outstanding in other domains. The research may help with understanding the risk factors for youth offending in the contexts of Vietnam from a life history approach. Moreover, the understanding these risk factors could help with improving the effectiveness of youth offending prevention in Vietnam.

Aus. & NewZe J. Soci Busi. Env. Sus. Vol 1(1), October 2015, P 33-53


risk factors; youth offending; life history; young offender; Vietnam

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