Juvenile resilience and delinquency


Drs. A. (Agnes) de Lima-Heijns


Seminar - Oral Presentation


23 August 2018


Juvenile resilience and delinquency

Educational Goals:

Behavioral problems and juvenile delinquency among Curaçao’s youth are high and rising (Jonkman, et al., 2010). With about 30% of culprits being under 17 (Faber, 2007) and 36% of the prison population being under 24 years of age (Antilliaanse Jeugdzorg, 2008), juveniles form a relatively large part of the judicial population in Curaçao. Despite these high and rising numbers of juvenile delinquency, very limited risk and strength based longitudinal research has been conducted, specifically on Curaçaoan youth. Results from a few larger studies on the former Dutch Antilles (e.g. Boekhout van Solinge et al., 2010, Boer et al., 2006; Jonkman et al., 2010) underline the relevance of commonly recognized individual and contextual risk factors to behavioral problems in Curaçaoan youth.

Although the importance of resilience in promoting prosocial behaviors among juveniles and refraining them from developing problematic behaviors, has been long acknowledged (e.g. Werner & Smith, 2001; Jessor & Turbin, 2014; Heffernan, & Ward, 2017), hardly any study was conducted on their resilience. Moreover, it is known that the relationship between risk and protective factors on the one hand and problem behaviors and resilience on the other, differs for girls and boys (e.g. Asscher et al., 2015; Whitney et al., 2010). In 2015, the - NWO granted - Curaçao Longitudinal Study of Juvenile Resilience and Delinquency commenced, of which the current study forms part.


Key-words: Risk and protective factors, Resilience, Behavioral problems