About the study
The report’s findings are based on a literature review that includes narrative reviews, systematic reviews and meta-analyses, as well as individual studies that have examined individual-level differences in offending in relation to socioeconomic background factors. The review is based primarily on studies published by researchers in the United States, the Nordic countries and the rest of Europe, but also includes a number of studies from other parts of the world.
Different studies have used different indicators of socioeconomic background, such as parents' socioeconomic status or levels of education or income, or the family's financial resources in some other sense. The review proceeds on the basis of these studies’ own definitions and measures of socioeconomic background or related concepts, such as social class. The review presents findings from research based on both registered and self-reported crime.
The presentation of results is based on the following central question: According to the published research, what is the significance of socioeconomic family background during childhood for explaining individual differences in offending?
Sub-questions include: What do studies from Sweden and other countries say about the correlation between socioeconomic background during childhood and involvement in crime? Are there differences between men and women? How strong is this correlation, and how does this compare with the strength of the correlations found for various factors described in the research as established risk factors for offending? How do researchers explain the links between socioeconomic background factors and participation in crime?