Dissertations in Criminology no. 37, 2015.

Abstract: This doctoral thesis considers how factors from the home country, the family, and the individual impact the risk for criminal offending among young males from a foreign background residing in Stockholm. I use Swedish register data to examine the risk for police registered suspicion of criminal offending. The introductory chapter presents an historical overview of immigration in Sweden, theories of criminal offending, and details about analysis of register data. It is followed by three empirical studies that consider unique risk factors for crime among children of immigrants while controlling for factors encountered within Sweden. The first study shows that young male children of immigrants do not seem to be inherently violent as a result of coming from a war-torn country. The second study indicates that it is not the age at immigration, but the family situation that seems to dictate criminal propensity. The final study suggests that threats of deportation and stricter immigration policies do not seem to deter criminality. The most interesting result was probably that high home country human development was a protective factor against crime. This is the first known work to uncover such a result. Future theoretical development may be best aimed at unpacking and empirically evaluating the human development index as a risk factor. Together, these three studies suggest that some previously unconsidered uniquely immigrant factors are related to risk for criminality.


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