Prevention as cumulative protection: effects of early family support and education on chronic delinquency and its risks

Psychol Bull. 1994 Jan;115(1):28-54. doi: 10.1037/0033-2909.115.1.28.


A cumulative protection model is proposed to explain why chronic juvenile delinquency may be amenable to prevention and how early family support and education may help achieve this important societal goal. A comprehensive review of early risk factors for chronic delinquency is presented with special attention to interactive effects. Interventions combining comprehensive family support with early education may bring about long-term prevention through short-term protective effects on multiple risks. A review of the early intervention literature reveals that the family support component is associated with effects on family risks, while the early education component is associated with effects on child risks. Both components may be necessary for effects on multiple risks and later reductions in delinquency. Implications for social policy and improvement of Head Start are discussed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Antisocial Personality Disorder / prevention & control*
  • Antisocial Personality Disorder / psychology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Family
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Juvenile Delinquency / prevention & control*
  • Juvenile Delinquency / psychology
  • Male
  • Parenting / psychology
  • Parents / education*
  • Personality Development*
  • Risk Factors
  • Social Support*
  • Violence