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In terms of the causes of juvenile crime, Swiss legal doctrine rests on internationally accepted findings that are based on risk and protective factors (Losel & Bliesener, 2003), specifically for youth criminality (Aebersold 2011; Killias et al. 2011; Riedo 2013; for a special focus on violent youth criminality see Kassis 2003). For example, the family situation and the manner of upbringing, poverty, and parental drug addiction can be significant in the emergence or prevention of juvenile delinquency, though biological and psychological factors can also increase the risk. The consumption of violence vicariously through the media can at best be considered a factor that amplifies existing risk factors.

Furthermore, the Swiss research on the dark figure of crime confirms that youth crime can be viewed as a ubiquitous phenomenon (Killias et al. 2011), so that this form of deviant behavior can, to some extent, be seen as normal within the course of typical adolescent development. The exception here is the aforementioned serious offender.

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