Objective: Various risk factors for juvenile delinquency have been identified but the extent to which they are applicable in Trinidad and Tobago has not been investigated. We conducted a case-control study comparing risk factors in delinquent and non-delinquent boys.
Methods: Assessment of delinquent behaviour over the course of the preceding year was undertaken via the self-report delinquency scale while the Rosenberg Self-esteem Scale was used to assess self esteem.
Results: We found low academic achievement, living environment and family arrests positively correlated with delinquency in adolescent boys in Trinidad and Tobago. However, contrary to our hypotheses self-esteem, punishment and family structure (single parent families) were found to be unrelated to the development of juvenile delinquency.
Conclusion: We recommend interventions at the community and family levels. Rehabilitation and academic programmes may help to directly address the issue of juvenile delinquency in Trinidad.