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Factors that predispose youth to risk in Mexico and Chile

Author

Listed:
  • Cunningham, Wendy
  • Bagby, Emilie

Abstract

About half of Latin America’s youth are considered"at risk,"meaning that they engage in or are at risk of engaging in risky behaviors that are detrimental to their own development and to the well-being of their societies. While child psychologists identify many factors that may cause some youth to engage in at-risk behaviors and others not to, only empirical evidence can identify the set that is relevant to a particular population. This paper uses youth surveys from Chile and Mexico to test which of a large set of potential factors are correlated with a range of risky behaviors among youth. These factors range from relationships with parents and institutions to household behaviors (abuse, discipline techniques) to social exclusion. The authors use stepwise regressions to sort out which variables best explain the observed variance in seven different risky behaviors. They find that higher socioeconomic status, a good relationship with parents and peers, strong connection with local governmental institutions and schools, urban residence, younger age, and spirituality emerge as key explanatory factors for all seven behaviors for boys and girls in both countries. This points to a wider range of policy entry points than currently used, including targeting parents and the relationship with schools.

Suggested Citation

  • Cunningham, Wendy & Bagby, Emilie, 2010. "Factors that predispose youth to risk in Mexico and Chile," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5333, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5333
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Skoufias, Emmanuel & Parker, Susan W., 2001. "Conditional cash transfers and their impact on child work and schooling," FCND briefs 123, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    2. Manuelita Ureta & Carlos Filgueira & Naercio Aquino Menezes-Filho & Suzanne Duryea & Richard Obuchi & Lykke E. Andersen & Fernando Filgueira & Josefina Bruni Celli & Carmen Elisa Flórez & Jairo Núñez , 2003. "Critical Decisions at a Critical Age: Adolescents and Young Adults in Latin America," IDB Publications (Books), Inter-American Development Bank, number 42598 edited by Manuelita Ureta & Alejandra Cox Edwards & Suzanne Duryea, February.
    3. Grogger, Jeff, 1998. "Market Wages and Youth Crime," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(4), pages 756-791, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Székely,Miguel & Karver,Jonathan George, 2015. "Youth out of school and out of work in Latin America : a cohort approach," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7421, The World Bank.
    2. Chaaban, Jad & Cunningham, Wendy, 2011. "Measuring the economic gain of investing in girls : the girl effect dividend," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5753, The World Bank.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Adolescent Health; Youth and Governance; Population Policies; Health Monitoring&Evaluation; Gender and Health;

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