An investigation into parental attachment, child protection strategies and other risk factors associated with delinquency and criminal behaviour among young offenders in the UAE

Al-Nuaimi, Nasser (2014) An investigation into parental attachment, child protection strategies and other risk factors associated with delinquency and criminal behaviour among young offenders in the UAE. Doctoral thesis, London Metropolitan University.

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Abstract / Description

Child protection has progressively developed into a significant priority for the UAE culminating in a range of strategies and measures to protect vulnerable children and at-risk groups. In recent years the UAE has formed a national Committee for Child Protection, acceded to key international conventions protecting the human rights of children, and legislated for new police powers to enhance child protection. This study addresses the lack of research in the Gulf and UAE on the relationship between relevant risk factors and juvenile delinquency. It is envisaged that identifying core needs of those exposed to early childhood trauma may support the design of appropriate policies on child protection.

The study aimed to present a significant theoretical insight on how multiple risk factors and/or negative exposure predict or contribute to offending and re-offending behaviour. The research undertook a qualitative mixed methods approach to investigate the association between childhood risk factors (early child-parent separation, neglect and abuse, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), trauma of sexual abuse, maternal deprivation and family discord) and juvenile delinquency. Data collection was based on four samples of juvenile delinquents remanded in various rehabilitation care centres in the UAE.

Findings indicate that in relation to maltreatment 46.7% of juvenile delinquents (n=107) had experienced physical abuse by older adults. A further 20.6% had been subjected to sexual or attempted sexual abuse and 31.8% experienced familial neglect in relation to care. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms were acutely manifested among 36.5% of the sample (n=114) with an additional 14.8% suffering chronic PTSD reactions. Delayed PTSD onset was suffered by 5.2% of the sample while 43.5% were found to be PTSD negative. In relation to parental attachment, juvenile delinquents (n=111) indicated a marginally stronger attachment to their mother than to their father.

An examination of the link and legacy impacts of early physical and sexual abuse on behaviour, attitudes and feelings of young offenders (n=45) found that 44.44% had experienced sexual abuse in childhood in the majority of cases by familiar adults. These experiences incurred residual feelings of sadness, shame, anger and distrust of others. Most of these victims further demonstrate low self-esteem and suffer anxiety and nightmares in addition to other trauma reactions such as violent behaviour, stealing and use of drugs.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Additional Information:
Uncontrolled Keywords: juvenile delinquents; juvenile delinquency; criminal behaviour; vulnerable children; at-risk children; abused children; child abuse; child welfare; child protection; parent and child; attachment behavior in children; United Arab Emirates; UAE
Subjects: 300 Social sciences > 360 Social problems & services; associations
Department: School of Social Sciences (to June 2021)
School of Social Sciences and Professions
Depositing User: Mary Burslem
Date Deposited: 25 Jul 2016 09:53
Last Modified: 19 Jul 2021 16:03


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