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Risk factors of adolescent delinquency in Macao

English Abstract

Adolescent delinquency in Macao is increasing in recent years. The purposes of this quantitative study are to investigate the roles of familial factors, attitudes toward changes in Macao, and gender in self-reports of delinquent behaviors in Macao adolescents between 12 and 20-years old, and how specific personality traits moderate these risks. The familial factors were measured using Chinese translations of the Mental Health Questionnaire for Korean Adolescents (MHQKA), the Family Dynamic Environment Scale (FDES), the Sibling Relationship Questionnaire (SRQ), and the Chinese version of the Family Assessment Device (C-FAD). Attitudes toward changes in Macao were measured by a modification of a scale of attitudes toward organizational changes. Personality traits were measured with the Cross-Cultural (Chinese) Personality Assessment Inventory – Adolescent version (CPAI-A), and self-reports of delinquent behaviors were measured by a delinquent behavior scale (Kim & Kim, 2008a). A total of 551 participants were recruited from secondary schools and a university, and from a juvenile delinquency center in Macao. In a non-clinical control sample, familial factors were negatively correlated with self-reports of delinquent behaviors and age was positively correlated with selfreports of delinquent behaviors, while the correlation between parent-child relationship and selfreports of delinquent behaviors was moderated by pathological dependence. In the non-clinical control sample, there were no gender and age difference in self-reports of delinquent behaviors. The clinical sample differed from the control sample only in the degree of self-reported delinquent behavior. The influence of risk factors on self-reports of delinquent behaviors and implications for treatment of adolescent delinquency in Macao are discussed.

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Tong, Tat Seng


Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities


Department of Psychology




Juvenile delinquency -- Macau

Juvenile delinquency -- Psychological aspects


Zaroff, Charles

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