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FSD2976 Finnish Self-Report Delinquency Study 2012

The dataset is (C) available for research only (including e.g. Master's, licentiate and doctoral theses). The dataset may not be used for other theses (e.g. Bachelor's or polytechnic theses), for other study purposes (e.g. seminar papers, essays) or teaching.

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Authors

  • Kivivuori, Janne (National Research Institute of Legal Policy (Optula))
  • Salmi, Venla (National Research Institute of Legal Policy (Optula))

Keywords

assault, bullying, burglary, crime, crime victims, criminal damage, disorderly conduct, drug abuse, illegal drugs, intimidation, juvenile delinquency, offences, robbery, shoplifting, students, teachers, theft, youth

Abstract

The survey studied the extent, frequency and nature of self-reported offending among young people in Finland as well as their attitudes towards crime and experiences of being victims. The 2012 survey, which is the seventh of its kind, differs from the surveys of previous years in that it was expanded to include sixth-graders (pupils aged 12-13) in addition to ninth-graders (pupils aged 15-16).

Questions covered truancy, vandalising school property or other property, theft, shoplifting, motor vehicle theft, burglary, online piracy, bullying, taking part in a fight, assault, robbery, possession of a weapon, alcohol use, and use of other intoxicating substances. If the respondents admitted to having done any of the acts mentioned, they were asked whether they had done it in the previous 12 months and how many times. Relating to some of the offences, the respondents were also presented with specifying questions about the last time they had committed the act, for example, whether they had acted alone, whether they had been drunk at the time, whether the act had been revenge for some previous incident, what they had stolen, and whether the motive for a violent act had been discriminatory. Ninth-graders were also asked whether the police had found out about the offences committed.

The respondents were also asked whether they had been a victim of vandalism, violent robbery, theft, bullying, threats of violence, assault, discriminatory harassment or violence, parental corporal punishment, or cyberbullying and cyberthreats. If the respondents had been a victim of any of the acts, they were asked whether they had experienced it in the previous 12 months and how many times. Relating to some of the experiences, the respondents were also presented with specifying questions about the last time they had been a victim of the crime, for instance, whether the perpetrator had been male or female, how old the perpetrator had been, what his/her ethnicity had been, whether the respondent had sustained injuries, and what had been stolen. Relating to experiences of violence, the respondents were further presented with a list of people (e.g. friend, mother, father, unknown adult, teacher, coach/instructor) and asked whether any of them had physically assaulted them (hit, kicked, or used a weapon).

Family and circumstances at home were surveyed with questions about the extent to which parents supported and were interested in the respondent's life. Relating to leisure time, questions probed how often the respondents were away from home in the evenings, visited parties, spent long periods of time online, watched violent films etc. Questions on neighbourhood and school investigated the prevalence of graffitis, vandalism and alcohol/drug abuse in the neighbourhood, and the prevalence of vandalism and disruptive behaviour at school. The respondents were also asked whether their friends had used cannabis, shoplifted or been in a fight in a public place.

A number of items from the Big Five Inventory (John et al.) were presented and the respondents were requested to indicate to what extent they thought the characteristics applied to them (e.g. "I am talkative", "I tend to be lazy"). Additionally, the respondents were asked to what extent they agreed with statements relating to their propensity to take risks, tendency to think ahead and to be considerate of others (e.g. "Sometimes I take a risk just for the fun of it", "If people get upset over something I do, that's their problem, not mine").

Finally, the respondents were asked the future probability of them shoplifting or being in a fight, insecurity experienced in certain places, acceptability of certain acts for young people (e.g. lying, online piracy, shoplifting), and to what extent they agreed with statements relating to breaking the law (e.g. "It is acceptable to take revenge on a person who hurts/insults a friend of mine").

Respondents on the ninth grade were asked additional questions. Questions charted sleep problems as well as whether the respondents felt certain descriptions (found in the Antisocial Process Screening DeviceĀ–Self-Report, Frick et al.) applied to them (e.g. "I blame others for my mistakes", "I keep same friends").

The background variables included, among others, the respondent's sex, age, country of birth, school performance (maths, Finnish, English), and household composition as well as years lived in the municipality of residence, attendance in remedial education during the school year, language spoken at home, parents' economic activity, perceived financial circumstances of family, and whether R had ever had to repeat a grade. Ninth-graders were also asked their dating status and plans after basic education.

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