Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


McKinney, Clifford

Committee Member

Robertson, Angela

Committee Member

Armstrong, Kevin J.

Date of Degree


Original embargo terms

MSU Only Indefinitely

Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Campus Access Only


Clinical Psychology

Degree Name

Master of Science


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Psychology


The present study examines how an accumulation of risk and protective factors impacts the development of juvenile delinquency and conduct problems in late adolescents. Risk factors may have a negative impact early on in a youth’s life, and protective factors such as positive parenting may alleviate or diminish the impact those risk factors may have. The sample consisted of 499 participants aged 18 to 36 years who attend a southeastern university. Participants completed surveys that measure friend’s delinquent behavior, parenting practices, neighborhood cohesion, exposure to community violence, delinquency, and conduct problems. Results of ANOVAs indicate that cumulative effects of several risk factors and the absence of protective factors are more strongly associated with conduct problems and juvenile delinquency than any single risk factor alone. Participants with five or more risk factors were at greater risk for developing delinquent behavior and conduct problems than participants with fewer risk factors.



protective factors||risk factors||juvenile delinquency||conduct problems