The Cause of Juvenile Delinquency

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Date Submitted: 10/19/2010 06:02 PM

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The Cause of Juvenile Delinquency


Psychologists, sociologists and criminologists have argued the different causes of delinquency for centuries. This paper focuses on delinquency from a theoretical and practical perspective and some of the debated causes that are considered viable.  Some of these theorists point to childhood trauma especially child abuse, either of a physical or sexual nature during the adolescent years. 

Several theorists indicate that race, gender and socio-economic conditions like poverty are key factors in a young person’s life. There is also a factor of peer influences that is a major contributor to delinquency. Young people are especially vulnerable in their early adolescent years and subject to peer pressure to conform to certain negative or positive values, norms and behaviors. Delinquency will always be a complex topic and theorist will continue to search for answers to its causative factors.

The Cause of Juvenile Delinquency

Juvenile delinquency continues to leave behavioral specialists all over the world with a broad range of causes. Many point to child abuse as a key factor while others state that child abuse alone is not a deciding factor of delinquency. Several theorists indicate that socio-economic conditions along with peer influences can be a major factor in the development of delinquent behavior. This thesis will point out why some young people fall into delinquent behavior and will review different theories and their attempts to explain.

Peer Influences

Hoge, Andrews, and Leschied worked with a sample of 338 youth and tested three hypotheses with respect to delinquent behavior; parent-child relationships, peer influences and attitudes towards authority. It is clear that in the beginning of the article the authors acknowledge a combination of factors that are a predictor of...