Exploratory Research on Protective Factors Associated with Youth Offending: The Case of East Gojjam Zone, Ethiopia

Sintayehu Tilaye


The youths have consistently been hypothesized to be disproportionately responsible for crime and are more vulnerable to violence than any other age group which is costing the community billions of dollars per year, creates a sense of fear and lowers the quality of life for many people. In the first section of this paper, risk factors of youth offending were studied. This research deals on protective factors of youth offending in East Gojjam Zone which is located in Amhara Regional state of Ethiopia. Led by constructionist approach, this research used qualitative exploratory case study strategy. In-depth interview with youth offenders and non-offenders, key informant interview with officials mainly from police and correctional center were the central data collection technique. In addition, document review was also used to get any supportive data from various offices and researches. Generally sixteen youth offenders and thirteen key informants, a total of twenty eight participants were participated. None probability sampling method of purposive sampling technique was employed to select the research participants. Age, gender, and social setting of rural vs. urban were considered to select research participants and get comprehensive information. The finding of the study shows that economic improvement including employment opportunities, increased level of awareness, affiliation to law-abiding youths, consistent parental supervision, family stability and free familial relationship, proper family socialization, adequate income of the family, youth’s steady enrollment to school, and provision of extra circular activities are protective factors of youth offending. In addition, separated rehabilitation center for adolescent and adult, , economic development of the community, limiting the accessibility of alcohol and guns, strong culture against crime, strengthening traditional conflict resolution mechanism, expansion of youth centers with possible services, well equipped lawyers and police officials, strong organized community policing strategy, and improved rehabilitation service are also another opportunities found that reduce the risk factor of youth offending behavior. The finding shows that those multi-level personal, peer, familial, school, cultural, and community level opportunistic factors are not exclusive rather interdependent. Therefore, in order to reduce youths’ involvement in offending behavior, stockholders could work collaboratively.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/ijsw.v4i2.11967


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