Several factors are associated to delinquency. It is difficult to change or to reduce risk factors, therefore, the perspective of protective factors promotion appears as an alternative or a complementary approach for the risk behaviour prevention. The present study was developed using mixed methods in order to analyse risk and protective factors in juvenile delinquency. First, a quantitative study, using structural equation modelling with 300 juvenile offenders, was conducted in order to develop an explanatory model of delinquency. Secondly, a qualitative study, using a ï¿½focal groups" procedure, was also conducted with 24 juvenile offenders, aiming at knowing their perceptions regarding risk and protective factors for delinquency. Several different risk and protective factors were found. The quantitative study showed that, ï¿½substance useï¿½ was the most salient risk factor for juvenile delinquency while ï¿½positive relations in school contextï¿½ was the most salient protective factor. The qualitative results confirmed these results. Implications to selective and universal preventive interventions are discussed.
KEYWORDS: delinquency, risk and protective factors, preventive intervention.