Religion: Protective or Risk Factor for Victimization Risk of Juveniles?

Wednesday, 13 July 2016: 09:00
Location: Seminar 52 (Juridicum)
Oral Presentation
Silvia STAUBLI, University of Fribourg, Switzerland
Janne KIVIVUORI, University of Helsinki, Finland
Research on juvenile delinquency is broad. Factors such as the family, peers, the neighborhood, but also individual traits have been found to be important players. According to the routine activity approach, spending most of the leisure time with friends outside of the home can be seen as a risk factor, because there are more possibilities to commit a crime. Conversely, spending time with the family or within an institutional context can protect from becoming a victim of a (street) crime. Additionally, according to social control theory, social bonds such as the involvement into the family, the involvement in conventional activities, or the belief in moral rules protect juveniles from becoming involved in criminal activities. One not well researched factor affecting all mentioned levels is religion. Belonging to a religious community, as well as the personal importance of religion can act as protective factors through staying away from risky routine activities. At the same time, religious beliefs might attract victimization such as hate crime.

This paper takes an explorative look at the links between religion-related variables and types of victimization. Based on data of the newest wave of the International Self-Report Delinquency Study (ISRD3), Finland and Switzerland will be compared.