Theories Of Juvenile Delinquency

to be a debatable subject among psychologists, criminologists, and even sociologists. Many opposing and concurring arguments have been familiar with many researchers focusing on real cause, which may be discussed using different theories which range from the traditional to modern ones. Agnew (2005, p. 16) says that there surely is have to have different and adaptable theoretical views on causes of these crimes which is principally necessitated by the adjusted ways of living, which has greatly affected the socio-cultural position of many modern societies.

Many theorists attended up with different explanations wanting to investigate these developments in juvenile criminal offenses. Some have associated it with factors such as contest, gender, poverty that is depicted by poor socio-economic status. Other theorist associate it with years as a child occasions such as erotic abuse or even other varieties of physical abuse more likely to have been experienced by an individual. Peer group affect in addition has provided a sizable surface area for juvenile offences to flourish of thus quite a number of available theories are associated to the in a greater way. Authorities also have bee associated with juvenile crimes as they drive the unlawful justice systems (Agnew, 2005, p. 27). This impacts the way the young people view them and any actions by the specialists automatically have an effect on the reception directed at them by young offenders.

This paper seeks to look into the social based ideas that clarify juvenile delinquency both in traditional and modern or advanced perspective. Some of the most considerable theories include the feminist theory, cultural disorganization theory, stress theory, sub-cultural, and educational ideas among others. It really is worthy to note that some of the emerging ideas are not yet official as they are created from the preexisting ones and therefore cannot be treated as autonomous. Modern studies on juvenile delinquency have found these factors influential enough in juvenile delinquency thus explaining them as modern day ideas (Hn-su & Hyn-sil 2008, p. 39). A good example is educational skills of some victims of the kind of offences. However, these ideas can be associated with the traditional ones in one way or the other.

Literature review

Juvenile delinquency is one of the major fields of modern unlawful studies that are ongoing. Closer analysis of this phenomenon has been summarized by various theorists, which were put up by different scholars (Esbensen, et al, 1993. P. 33). Wellness of a society is the main factor that predetermines the speed of juvenile crime. Merton suggested that it's the role of the modern culture to instill collective and positive dreams of a culture into it members and ensure this is ongoing. However, when many people especially children are obstructed from attaining their dreams, they transition to crime and therefore they choose use of unlawful and forceful means to achieve what is expected of them. Behavior on the list of teenage human population has enticed a lot of interest with many reports being done on a single in recent years. Between 1935- 1955, the Minnesota multiphasic personality inventory, a group of experts made very powerful attempts to understand teenage behavior with regards to offense (71).

Kvaraceus range of study produced in the year 1952 was used in predicting juvenile action in america enabling tremendous progress in endeavors to asses both psychological and communal factors that effect adolescents to commit crime (Xiaogang & Lening 2008, p. 112). This tool utilizes a set of multiple-choice questions that assist in the predictions of a person's behavior when clarified by the person being tested and analyzed by a professional. Kvaraceus discovered that delinquent children got experienced very significant differences with others in maters relating academic aptitude, relatives, truancy records, school attendance and perceptions on both main genders. Xiaogang & Lening (2008, p. 119) further reveals that delinquent children posed a negative response for these maters with 65 percent expressing total irritation when in course learning, implying that these were not interested very much in attending university. Delinquent fellows also reported to acquire experience a kind of racial abuse by the ones that they thought were unfairly biased.

The US legal justice system shows that seventy percent of all children in juvenile correctional facilities have a number of educational disabilities. These children happen to pose lower levels than their fellow children hence only thirty-five percent of most impaired children make it up to graduation in comparison to all students' rates that stand at 76 percent (Esbensen, et al, 1993. P. 58). These studies also revealed that first criminal offense among this band of students was committed before they leave senior high school.

Studies in america have further demonstrated that delinquent individuals experienced more violent mistreatment than non-delinquent peers (68). One in ten of serious juvenile offenders have reported to possess in one way or the other undergone victimization as compared to one in ten of non-delinquent friends. Victimized individuals have been witnessed to be more violent and difficult to control because of the assumption they are already spoilt (Coughlan, 2007, P. 9). They therefore prefer victimizing others so that they can find consolation for what previously occurred to them (82). This sticks them in the world of criminal offense in more of a everlasting basis hence changing their practices become difficult. Being blended by the population as out cast also influence their skills to reconsider their means of living since they find the harm triggered more irreparable.

Bias such as ethnicity, contest and economic status have been found to propel juvenile offences even further. This is because public animosities among engaged get-togethers lead to adoption of fake perceptions up against the other teams (Agnew, 2005, p. 61). African Americans have been found to have higher numbers of juveniles under safe custody, which is associated with the racism that still, exist on the list of American contemporary society. Minorities have also been found to have more volume of juveniles under safe guardianship. These populations may contribute hardly any to the total population of any country but the opposite is experienced when it comes to crime. In america for occasion, the minority constituted only 32 percent of the total inhabitants in 1995 but sixty eight percent of the total juvenile population in guardianship were from these minority teams mainly the Negros, Latinos, and Hispanics.

Social disorganization theory

Developed by Clifford Shaw and McKay Henry in Chicago school, this theory meticulously relates juvenile delinquency to sociable disorganization of your culture as dictated by the ecological aspects bordering a contemporary society. They define sociable disorganization as the shortcoming of a world to organize itself in a more socially appropriate manner that perpetuates tranquility and the overall social wellness of a society because of ecological changes within the world (Hn-su & Hyn-sil 2008, p. 71). For instance, a city may experience a massive relocation of its inhabitants who go ahead to establish other settlements within the vicinity thus finding yourself with informal settlements such as slums.

People no more live together as a cluster leading to crisis of new communal classifications with low-income populations finding themselves alongside one another and vice versa. Such communities of folks usually exhibit a higher population turnover resulting in more crowding and eventually causing degradation of these financial empowerment implying that they will be poorer and weaker in tackling life (94). Youth from these poor neighborhoods have a tendency to adopt immoral habit, as they feel pressed by their socio-economic position well referred to as averagely low. Through the procedure of interacting, teenagers learn different behaviours from those of their neighborhoods and generally end up adopting the same action with time. Negative area ecological tendencies have been associated with higher criminal offense rate among juveniles as social disorganization ends in such clusters of areas that developed new sociable position especially with low-income populations (116).

High population heterogeneity makes it difficult for such societies to get together and establish casual social structures. This means that there lacks uniformity within the culture, dictating a homogeneous population which can collectively choose good moral ideals continue to be illusive. The adults in such status will always enter unlawful activities so easily as the socio-economic status does very little to avoid indulgence in unlawful activities (128). Peer affect is the primary vector that spreads such undesired habits one of the youth moving into such neighborhoods because people of the same age do interact and learn from each other faster and more easily made to believe that their friends easier again raising juvenile delinquency.

Strain / institutional anomie theory

Strain theory is also called the social class or the Mertonian Anomie theory. An American sociologist named Robert Merton, who mainly utilized the American economical status as his system for argument, developed this theory in expounding more on juvenile delinquency (Coleta et al 2007). People in the usa possessed developed a culture that was filled with prospects for liberty, wealth, and opportunity that he called the 'American fantasy'. Merton used the word anomie to imply that the living standards of individuals was just like a dichotomous key subdivided in various hierarchical levels that dictates what was expected from them and what could actually be performed by individuals.

This cloud of values led to an increase in juvenile crimes when certain obstructions were experienced such as unequal social position and imbalanced availability of opportunities for all people (Esbensen & Huizinga, 1993, p. 301). The contemporary society witness substantial drop out from academic institutions by the prone youths numerous citing this as methods to allow them achieve what was expected of these by the world, using choice methods which is through legal activities. This theory continues to be relevant up to hitherto with many youths shedding into being gang members commonly known as 'hobos' or drug abusers which permits them receive the much expected public status through offences such as robbery with assault.

The most powerful impact of this theory especially in adolescents is that they are up to date of the North american dream as soon as possible with a whole lot of information on what is exciting thereafter. The contemporary society has however shown a larger weakness in the sense that little emphasis are placed on the genuine method of how to accomplish these dreams implying that the way one plays the overall game is not important but whether one is victorious or looses (317). Basing upon this truth, many juveniles opt for illegal methods to achieve what they are anticipated to, thus increasing their vulnerability to be victims of legal activity and deviance from socially appropriate conduct as a result of criminal offense.

Sub-cultural theory

According to Hn-su & Hyn-sil (2008, p. 51) this theory is fetched from the fact that modern societies have confirmed a culture of parting where discrete teams of people have fragmented away from the main world and established their own worth and norms. These differential affiliations have presented the culture of learning antisocial behaviours that are obviously defined by unlawful studies as crime.

Studies show that the most vulnerable group is the adolescents who mainly find it hard to be friends with the traditional ways of living. This has even gone to the magnitude of development of cults which comer up with their own ways of living and governance (63). Offences out of this kind of clusters have been reported in many African state governments where most societies are ravaging in poverty. Because the youth will be the most infected, juvenile crime have increased in places where this behavior is left to adopt course unabated as very teenagers learn crime easily.

The theory of Educational disabilities

Although this factor sometimes appears by many as not cultural, they have resulted into a very huge effect on the general interpersonal setups of the population as regarding these children who have problems with their studies. The American culture is keen on labeling them as potential thieves basing on their failure to do better in class as Cullen & Wright, (2002, p. 103) reveal. These children have a tendency to commit crimes because they're challenged psychologically, and cannot use their rationale well in making decisions.

The US administration created the special education legislations back in 1975 with an aim of making certain this band of its individuals are well looked after in matters pertaining education. However, university administrators have gone ahead to suspend and expel these children from university further intensifying the mental health burden they end up with when labeled as potential bad guys by the society regardless of their mental skills (Cullen & Wright, 2002, p. 116). These children finish up perceiving themselves as failures and loose desire in life thus engaging in criminal offenses to find solace and eventually wrap up in systems of juvenile justice because of interpersonal rejection by those who are supposed to adopt and educate them.

Family influence

This is one of the major modern theories recognized by many experts. Most theorist of modern mindset agree with this theory that an individual is more likely to be damaged incidentally their parents bring them up either adversely or positively depending on existing family beliefs already in ownership by the parents. As Weiher et al. (1991, p. 22) sets it, parent-child romantic relationships such as closeness, acceptance, modification, rejection among many others play a very important role when it come to predicting likely action a child will establish as they expand. Family effect have bee associated with negative fads with some research displaying that family influence is more influential than peer group impact. Better communication strategies with strong psychological support have been found to lessen juvenile delinquency.

Children with non-traditional family set ups such as solitary parents and reconstituted people commit more juvenile offences than those children do from traditional people. Because a child from traditional family enjoy personal family romantic relationship with both parents who become mentors and role models. This is in the sense that in parents able to spend more energy and time with their children, hence favorably influencing their practices (Benjamin & Lahey, 2003, p. 62). These children are also least associated with delinquency as they have more resources and a more sensible family setup. Alternatively, non-traditional families are unsuccessful in much larger proportions to supply the same thus, children from such households are likely to get into crime when they seek to replace what they lack. Traditional family parents contain the advantage of posting the expense of commitment with their children especially economically. This is unlike what faces a non-traditional family parent who could find it difficult to commit time for mental and financial support to all of his or her children

Modern population is experiencing a rapid upsurge in non-traditional family established ups numerous people deciding on one parenthood especially women to avoid commitments that come with one being truly a wife and at exactly the same time a mom. Therefore, matching to Coughlan (2007, P. 29), juvenile delinquency is more rampant anticipated to such cultural setups as a result of living personal preferences of the present day generation (35). Just as good parenting may have a benefiting influence on bringing up morally erect children, the opposite results in a improperly natured child who is more susceptible to getting away from institution for example, and getting involved in unlawful activities.

Critical theories

This has a set of explanations by various sociologists and renowned scholars how differences in numerous characteristics such as gender or competition can lead to a rise in rates of crimes among different members of the population. Other documents give attention to group differences and exactly how those in positions of specialist trigger determination to offense by young people (Coleta et al 2007).

Racial differences typically, can be associated with the Marxism theory too which postulates that those in positions recognized superior will be the most likely to determine the speed as moves the infamous stating that 'he who will pay the piper, demands the tune'. Marxist theory dispute that people those who own creation chains have the greatest say in making any decisions relating that particular type of production. Larry et al. 2008, p. 227). Argue that other people who will be the minorities must go by the particular haves dictate like the type of work to be done, by who and exactly how. Biases that have lead to discrimination of certain specific minority communities among the many world societies have lead not and then unresolved issues, but also in an upsurge in juvenile delinquency especially in the American societies. This finding is just about the recent theories in legal justice that make clear why delinquency is increasing in such sociable set ups in which a particular competition feel more superior than the other to the extent of treating the latter as subordinates (229).

Racial abuses for example can be monitored right from the social position of many societies with less cosmopolitan places being affected more. Therefore that where a group of men and women is small quantities, biases more prevalent. Perceptions on people weak economically greatly affect young people relationships with, view of people of the opposite class. It really is visible in many societies across the globe that these teenagers will always act in ways suggesting that they are against what pertains those perceived as competitors (Agnew, 2005, p. 119). This usually results in various issues, as antagonistic values are ever experienced with majorities emerging triumphant over the minorities eventually motivating criminal offenses especially with the junior.

The Kaplan theory on self-esteem as delinquent factor

Most teenagers especially adolescents will always want to remain and easily fit into a location they feel accepted. Whenever this fails to happen, these folks convert for alternatives to ensure that the recapture their original status of self-satisfaction. The already proven legal organizations within the society always benefit from decisions of such young people who feel rejected by their own school (Benjamin & Lahey, 2003, p. 19). Criminal organizations usually offer a very satisfactory arrangement, because they are easy to simply accept and make you feel good thus repairing the much sought self-esteem.

Unfortunately, swings in home -esteem are experienced most in adolescent again making the young people more vulnerable. This is because at this stage they have developed self-preferences, which might not by provided by the world, thus making them feels turned down (Larry et al. 2008, p. 47). A remedy to this is usually choice peer groupings into that they get into even if they're engaged in legal activities. Self-derogatory theory created by Kaplan has been found in many clinical tests to establish how far reaching the effects of low self-esteem are, in juvenile delinquency.

Feminist theory

Gender distinctions are the key factor used to argue with this theory. Despite the fact that the theory focuses on the overall rates of committing crime among people of all ages, careful analysis can result in a more immediate connect to juvenile crime. The theory too, looks for to clarify why male commit crimes more than females, and why females commit offense in the overall social perspective (Weiher et al. 1991, p. 42). Gender disparities experience by females is one of the major catalysts increasing the amount of junior feminine offenders. Positions allocated to females in many societies especially in the growing world are more disadvantageous compared to that of their guy counterparts. Females will probably get into criminal offenses such as drug peddling at an early age when their privileges are rejected for case when pressured to drop out of college to give room because of their brothers who are socially assumed to possess better chances of attending and efficiently completing studies (72).

Females at their youthful age are more like to be mistreatment sexually by their dominant males thus opt for alternative forms of life, making them conclude in crime mounting brackets. This is because they can not be accepted back into the world so easily as they are already labeled as delinquents at a tender years. This theory is employed to explain feminine juvenile offences and how being female may influence the speed at which juvenile delinquency appear (82). Crime among youthful customers of the modern culture can only be realized well by considering different cultural encounters by females in occurrences where men want to show their prowess in ruling women.


Juvenile crime can easily be tackled when intercepted at its point of origins. Individuals who are actually involved in such offences usually develop the craving to do so while still young therefore posing a very good opportunity to tackle the vice as children are more malleable and can certainly be shaped into positive people. Psychosocial factors also play a very important role in juvenile criminal offense as just how people think and live determine the overall public uprightness of the young era. Perceptions cultivated among different teams of individuals by the people themselves are more damaging to minorities especially when they are really negative. Societies with more conspicuous variations such as races are more like to experience higher level of juvenile delinquency.

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