School violence and other school risk factors for youth offending in Vietnam – a life history approach

Toan Quang Le 

Ph.D. Student – School of Global, Urban and Social Studies, RMIT University, Australia,;

Youth offending is criminal and other illegal behaviour engaged in by minors who are younger than the statutory age of majority. In recent years, youth offending has become a significant threat to public safety in not only Western but also Asian countries. In Vietnam, instances of youth offending have become more serious with the increase in crimes committed by young people and there was a dramatic increase in the seriousness of youth offending. Especially, there was an increase of the violent and serious crimes committed by young people, such as robbery, murder, rape, and intentionally inflicting injury on others. Therefore, it is significant to investigate the risk factors for youth offending in Vietnam for formulating better intervention programs. Taking Vietnam as the site of the research, this study investigated the life histories of the young incarcerated offenders in three prisons in Vietnam to identify the risk factors for their involvement in youth offending from their life histories. From the findings of this study, various risk factors had been identified in several domains, including individual, family, peers, school, and community risk factors. Among them, school violence appeared to be one of the most common and significant risk factors for youth offending. Besides, other school-related risk factors such as negative attitude to school, dropping out of school, lack of school management, and the co-operation between school and families were also significant in contributing to youth offending. These findings were significant to understand the causes of youth offending, as well as improving the effectiveness of intervention programs in Vietnam.


Quang Toan Le is a third-year PhD candidate at RMIT University, Australia. Before becoming a student of RMIT University, he worked as a lecturer and researcher at The People’s Police Academy, the largest training and scientific research center of the Vietnamese police force. His area of interests includes criminal investigation and crime prevention.Contact information:School of Global, Urban and Social Studies – RMIT University, AustraliaE-mail:


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