Young incarcerated Vietnamese offenders and the risk factors in their offending: a life history approach

Le, Q 2017, Young incarcerated Vietnamese offenders and the risk factors in their offending: a life history approach, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Global, Urban and Social Sciences, RMIT University.

Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title Young incarcerated Vietnamese offenders and the risk factors in their offending: a life history approach
Author(s) Le, Q
Year 2017
Abstract Youth offending, also known as juvenile crime, youth crime or juvenile delinquency, involves criminal acts and other illegal behaviour engaged in by minors who are younger than a statutory age limit. Recently in Vietnam, instances of youth offending have become more serious with an increase in the numbers of crimes committed by young people as well as the seriousness of youth offending. Several intervention strategies and programs have been designed and implemented to target youth offending in Vietnam but these appear to have been ineffective. What is suggested here is the need for a more sophisticated understanding of the risk factors behind youth offending specific to that country. Taking Vietnam as the site of the research, this study investigates the risk factors and their impacts on the likelihood of youth offending. A multi-method approach was employed in this current study. The life history approach was utilised as the primary method of collecting data, which were conducted with thirty young incarcerated male offenders in three selected prisons in the North of Vietnam. Ecological paradigm was subsequently utilised to analyse the correlations between the identified risk factors in contributing to youth offending. Document analysis and interviews with the public officers had also been conducted for a better understanding of the risk factors for youth offending as well as the effectiveness of the prevention of youth offending and the rehabilitation of young offenders. What emerged from this study is a society in transition, conflicted and inadequate in dealing with young offenders. It found a range of risk factors at work: individual, family, school, peer and other social and community risk factors, which might have had significant impacts on the likelihood of youth offending. In individual terms, the interviewed sample revealed such characteristic as risk-taking, aggression, violent behaviour; hyperactivity, impulsivenes and lack of self-control; substance abuse and involvement in other illegal activities. In terms of family, the relationship between parents and children in the family, child maltreatment, family conflict and inter-parental violence, separation from parents, family disruption and remarriage, inconsistent discipline and lack of supervision, criminal and substance-abused parents and running away from home were the most important family risk factors found in this study. The sample revealed a prevalence of child-rearing methods in contributing to youth offending. These included poor parent-child relationships and a lack of parental involvement in their upbringing, inconsistent discipline, lack of supervision, and child maltreatment. In the school domain, it was found that school disconnectedness (which included negative attitude to school, academic failure, poor school bonding, truancy, grade retention, dropping out of school and school expulsion) was among the most common school risk factors. Moreover, school violence appeared to be most outstanding and significant risk factors found in this study. Lack of cooperation between school and families in and other school management factors had also contributed to increase the risk of youth offending. In terms of peer influence, this current study found a significant role of peer-related risk factors, including adverse impact from delinquent peers and gang affiliation. Many offenders committed their offences in the cooperation with their peers or other gang members, while others blamed their peers for their involvement in criminal activities. The study also found various community risk factors at play, including poverty, technologic influences (internet, game culture), and under-enforcement of alcohol consumption, management of games and the internet, management of firearms and other weapons and handling of crimes and other illegal activities. From the findings of this study, several implications for more effective youth offending prevention strategies were suggested. Moreover, recommendations for future research in the field of risk factors for youth offending with a larger sample and broader context of research; and the application of life history method in the study of youth offending are also suggested.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Global, Urban and Social Sciences
Subjects Correctional Theory, Offender Treatment and Rehabilitation
Police Administration, Procedures and Practice
Causes and Prevention of Crime
Keyword(s) Risk factors
Life history
Youth offending
Youth offenders
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Created: Thu, 05 Apr 2018, 08:42:15 EST by Adam Rivett
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