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Causes of Juvenile Delinquency
Eaton Turner 06/03/2019 06:43 AM CST


This post was written with the help of the author: Eaton Turner is a bachelor in English philology and literature at California University. Eaten is currently working as one of the best writers at the He also studies feminine psychology

Juvenile delinquency refers to offenses committed by adolescents. It is similar to other crimes only that persons who commit them are teenagers. Young people lack a comprehensive understanding of the world before they mature. As a result, older people such as their teachers, parents, and friends have a significant influence on their behavior. In courts, juvenile crimes are punished differently from those committed by adults. Furthermore, there are different juvenile courts established with the purpose of punishing juvenile in order to help youngsters to know the importance of staying away from crimes. There are a number of theories that have been developed in an attempt to explain the causes of juvenile criminal behavior. Most of the delinquent teenagers come from low social class. This article will discuss the causes of juvenile delinquency.

Juvenile delinquency has been associated with a number of family-related factors. Young people depend on family for basic socialization. They learn the bad and good of the society through their families. A child’s personality can be destroyed or built by family. Parents and siblings play the major role in family. Families that do not offer their children a firm foundation when growing up always raise adolescents with delinquent behaviors. Lack of good parenting has been established to result in juvenile delinquency. For instance, criminal parents, absence of confidence and trust among parents, frequent fights among parents, single parents, separated families, and broken families are risk factors for juvenile criminal behavior. In addition, rivalry among children is also a cause of juvenile delinquency. Parents, together with siblings have the responsibility of taking good care of the younger kids. A criminal parent or sibling will definitely motivate the teenage sibling to engage in delinquent behavior. Economic difficulties that families encounter have also been reported as a factor leading to juvenile delinquency. Teenagers from poor families are at a higher risk of engaging in criminal activities than teenagers from well-off families. In addition, families with psychological problems such as depression, mental illness, hyperactive behavior, aggression, and frustration risk their sibling to engaging in delinquent behaviors. When parents show psychological related behaviors, a child may feel inferior and underprivileged among other children. In other cases, children copy their parents’ behaviors. Such factors as age discrimination, racial discrimination, gender discrimination and child labor may lead to delinquent behaviors. Families with moral problems are another risk factor for juvenile crime. Young people should learn how to relate with people in the society and family. Some parents show lack of respect for each other and therefore, a teenager learns to pass the same disrespect for their families and other people around them. The style of parenting is the leading reason why young people commit crimes. For instance, parents adopting harsh parenting styles and punishing their children even for small mistakes instead of guiding them contribute to violent and disrespectful behavior among teenagers, which may eventually develop into criminal behavior.

Personal reasons are yet another cause of juvenile delinquency. In some situations, the neighborhood, teachers, family or parents have nothing to do with a teenager engaging in juvenile delinquency. Sometimes, there are personal reasons behind delinquent behavior of the teenager. For instance, handicap teenage children will feel discriminated and unwanted in the society and later begin to develop negative feelings towards the society; hence, yearning to take revenge on their family, friends, and society for being looked down upon. Such a teenager is at a higher risk of engaging in crimes. There is always unequal treatment in the society and racial discriminated teenagers are always aggressive and revengeful to the society. Based on the social learning theory, teenagers involved in drug use and other crimes usually have majority of their friends related to crime. Other young boys and girls experience social problems, and therefore, become rude and develop antisocial behavior.

Another cause of juvenile delinquency is influence from peer group. During adolescence, peer pressure is a strong cause of delinquent behavior. These adolescents learn from friends how to commit crimes without being aware of the consequences. Teenagers get involved in delinquent behaviors when they feel rejected by their peer groups. Moreover, when teenagers start competing on similar resources, they opt for crimes. It is advisable for parents to warn their children on associating with older people in order to avoid adolescent jealousy and curb involvement in juvenile delinquency. In addition, it is parent’s responsibility to make sure their children associate with upright people to prevent them from becoming part of any gang. Youths always feel that being part of a gang makes them powerful and untouchable. Often these gangs indulge in criminal acts. When teens join gangs, they learn abusive behaviors and become associated with crimes.

Society is another cause of juvenile delinquency. Some societies are harsh and very negative towards youths. Teenagers’ personalities are often shaped by the society. Therefore, when youths begin developing negative thoughts about the society, they risk having delinquent behaviors. When the society begins labeling and name-calling of youths, the personality of the young teen is destroyed, which makes the youths develop criminal behavior. Sometimes, when teens just commit a crime for the first time and they are labeled criminals by the society, they decide to perceive themselves as criminals. They will repeatedly commit other crimes paying no attention to the societal views.

Urbanization is yet another cause of juvenile delinquency. Countries with large urbanized population register higher juvenile crime rates compared to rural areas, which can be attributed to lack of social cohesion and social control of urbanized populations. In rural areas, community and family control manages antisocial behavior and reduce crime rates. On the other hand, urban areas depend on judicial and legal measures to deal with youths involved in crimes, which appears to be linked to higher crime rates. Developing countries are also contributing to juvenile delinquency through the ongoing urbanization process.

Another cause of juvenile delinquency is migration. Often, immigrants live under limitations of society and economy hence denied the chance to succeed due to existing legal order framework, forcing them to seek comfort in their culture and environment. Cultural conflict leads to delinquent behaviors due to variations in norms and morals and the varying level of acceptability of a given act.

Another factor contributing to the increasing rate of juvenile delinquency is the commercialized mass media. Book publishers are more concerned with revenues than with quality. Sometimes movies and books have negative effects on children, for instance violent movies and obscene books. After the children are exposed to dirty ideas, bad, and violence into their minds through watching such movies and reading books of the kind, they suffer long time harm. Occasionally, children watch crimes, fights, and murders with no adult to explain them the other side of life away from violence. It is parents and elder siblings’ responsibility to explain the children the consequences of violence and suggest better ways of solving conflicts. Such misleading movies and books more often lead the children to delinquent behaviors.

Social and economic factors also lead to juvenile delinquency. For instance, the weakening of major organizations such as public education system, political instability, and economic crisis, leads to juvenile delinquency. Instability in socio-economic situation usually leads to poor paid jobs among teens and constant unemployment which pushes them to engage in delinquent behaviors.

There is increasing exclusion of people with identity crises, unemployment, ruptured social ties, and accumulation of obstacles. The term unwanted others is used in the emerging gap between the poor and rich. The welfare organizations that provide relief have failed to reduce the humble socio-economic positions of given groups and increasing families with low income or social security services, leading to emergence of a new class of the poor. The exclusion of teenagers who have committed small offences from the society has impacts on development of delinquent behaviors. Juvenile delinquency has also been connected with behaviors of victims. The reaction from victims on many occasions provokes the offender. Nevertheless, proper behavior may possibly prevent a juvenile act and maybe decrease the impact. Time and place of crime also determine the level of victimization.

From this discussion, it is evident that there are various causes of juvenile delinquency. These include family-related factors, peer pressure, urbanization, migration, and socio-economic factors. Children learn from their parents and siblings. The personality of a child can be built or destroyed by their families. Poverty also leads to delinquent behavior. Young people from less fortunate families always engage in delinquent behaviors in order to improve their living standard. Other youths get involved in gangs for personal reasons without external influence from parents, teachers, and friends. Peer pressure is a major cause of delinquent behavior. Teenagers suffering from rejection by their peer groups and always end up engaging in delinquent behaviors. Therefore, it is parent’s responsibility to educate their youths about the consequences of juvenile crimes. In addition, media also leads to increasing juvenile delinquency rates. For instance, children watching violent movies, and reading books written in harsh language may boost their volatile behaviors. Other causes include peer groups where teens learn how to engage and commit crimes from friends, urbanization, migration, and social and economic factors such as poor education system, exclusion of persons with identity crises, and victims’ behaviors sometimes provoke offenders.