Term Paper: Causes of Juvenile Delinquency Criminal

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[. . .] Therefore, whatever the causes are of juvenile delinquency, part of the strategy to eliminate juvenile delinquency must include changes to society within the infrastructure and social context, as well as changes individuals make regarding their own choices.

The causes of and conditions for juvenile crime are usually found at each level of the social structure, including society as a whole, social institutions, social groups and organizations, and interpersonal relations. Juveniles' choice of delinquent careers and the consequent perpetuation of delinquency are fostered by a wide range of factors, the most important of which are described below. Juvenile delinquency is driven by the negative consequences of social and economic development, in particular economic crises, political instability, and the weakening of major institutions (including the State, systems of public education and public assistance, and the family). Socio-economic instability is often linked to persistent unemployment and low incomes among the young, which can increase the likelihood of their involvement in criminal activity. (WYR, 2003, 193)

In societies with gross stratification and great disparity or inequality in access to resources, there is a great deal of juvenile delinquency. Juvenile delinquents often come from impoverished places, and there is likely some form of abuse in the household, whether it physical, sexual, or with respect to substances, such as narcotics. Juvenile delinquents do not have constant or stable sources of love or support. Juvenile delinquents often participate in delinquency to experience a sense of belonging and comfort, socially. Delinquency additionally occurs in those who do not have examples of healthy adults in the environment on a regular basis. Home visits as part of early interventions to stop juvenile delinquency could prove to be very effective. Those at risk for juvenile delinquency need assistance at interventions just about wherever they go, such as at school, in after school programs/activities, and at home, such as with Head Start or visits from counselors or social workers. It is all right to begin interventions at young ages because the earlier kids have self-confidence and strong emotional foundation, the less likely they are to be susceptible to bad circumstances and engage in delinquent behaviors.

Young people who are at risk of becoming delinquent often live in difficult circumstances. Children who for various reasons -- including parental alcoholism, poverty, breakdown of the family, overcrowding, abusive conditions in the home, the growing HIV / AIDS scourge, or the death of parents during armed conflicts -- are orphans or unaccompanied and are without the means of subsistence, housing and other basic necessities are at greatest risk of falling into juvenile delinquency. The number of children in especially difficult circumstances is estimated to have increased from 80 million to 150 million between 1992 and 2000. (WYR, 2003, 193)

Delinquency can happen in any area in any country when there is increased social, political, and other kinds of tensions already present in the culture overall, such as, there could be increases in juvenile delinquency when a country experiences an economic depression or war or a natural disaster. Juvenile delinquency, in some ways, is a symptom of greater problems in society, although it is a problem in of itself. Solving other problems in society would diminish the presence of delinquency among older kids, teens, and young adults. Solving problems regarding the inadequacies of education, for example, would directly affect the existence of juvenile delinquency.

…the highest concentration of delinquent juveniles are between the age of 12 and 16 years 83.33% and the lowest delinquent juveniles are 16.67% in the 7-11 years respectively. So we see that most of the delinquent juvenile's age is 12-16 years. Education is one of the important elements in the life of a person. An educated person can overcome any problem easily and properly…most of the juvenile delinquents (60.00%) are illiterate, 20.00% delinquents are literate, and 13.33% completed primary education. So data reflects that most of the juvenile could not able to gain proper education. It has been noticed that the involvement of criminal activities are increasing among the illiterate children. (Chowdry et al., 2012, 5)

There are at once so many factors that cause juvenile delinquency, but yet we cannot simply name one thing that causes it. There are individual, family, mental health, and situational risk factors. The state of the society and country where the delinquency takes place is additional a factor or risk that must be considered as one of the causes or contributions to juvenile delinquency, too. Juveniles additionally need stable, healthy, positive adult, young adult, and even older adolescents or peers for role models.

Adolescence is a very confusing period. It is difficult transitions to make. Adolescence is not easy for anyone. More than having someone there to tell one what to do, it is more effective during this stage particularly that adolescents are surrounded by or in the company of peers and mentors they can model themselves after, either on a more superficial, imitative kind of way, or to emulate how these role models problem solve, trouble shoot, or from what kinds of perspectives they approach & deal with conflicts. It may just be helpful to be around someone who knows what the teen is going through and is a living example that one can make it through adolescence alive!

Weak families are additionally a cause of juvenile delinquency. The family does not need to be nuclear or "perfect" to be a good, strong family. The family may be non-normative in structure, yet be just as strong and loving as a normatively structured family. Juvenile delinquents grow up in homes where there is neglect, abuse, poor communication, lack of support, lack of understanding, and violence. Juvenile delinquents often come from homes where there is pervasive violence. These causes and others leave distinct imprints upon juveniles that clearly lead to juvenile delinquent behaviors. Cycles of violence and criminality persist into adulthood and repeat when the juveniles become adults and have their own children.

Juvenile delinquency has its own causes, but it seems apparent that juvenile delinquency is clear a result of bigger problems going on in society. Fixing society eliminates problems like juvenile delinquency. Over the next two decades, prevention in juvenile delinquency will have to get very creative. There are a great deal more distractions for young people and more opportunities for delinquency. In a way, the future of delinquency prevention back revert to a more "old school" or simple approach, although we are in the most technologically integrated era. If we really get to know juveniles, learn what they are interested in, support them in what they want to do, they will focus on the activities that make them happy and fulfilled. They will be grateful to the people who fostered environments where they felt safe to talk, or not talk -- to do an activity or pursue a dream. It is a delicate balance of support and space that will help. Again, attacking other facets of society that impact, cause, etc. juvenile delinquency will be a part of the strategy of the future as well.

References:

Ali, M. (2008). Youth Crime: Causes and Remedies. Munich Personal RePEc Archive, 17223, Available from: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/17223/.

Chowdry, I.A., Khan, M.M., & Uddin, I. (2012). Causes and Consequences of Juvenile Delinquency in Bangladesh: A Sociological Analysis. International Journal of Social Science Tomorrow, 1(4), 1 -- 11.

Loeber, R. (1990) Development and risk factors of juvenile antisocial behavior and delinquency. Clinical Psychology Review, 10, 1 -- 41.

Tigar, Michael E. "What Are We Doing… [END OF PREVIEW]

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