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Juvenile Justice And Delinquency Prevention Essay

2261 words - 9 pages

Does exposure to deviant peers affect whether individuals participate in general delinquency? Peers have an influence on the developing individual where the individual shares definitions favorable to them (Snyder, Dishion, Patterson, 1982). Findings in literature suggest that delinquent youths are involved in a relationship between peers delinquent behavior and a respondent’s own delinquency (Warr, 1996). Shaw and McKay, in 1931, discovered that more than 80% of individuals had deviant peers, and they have a strong tendency to commit delinquent acts in the company of others. Studies found that relationships of peer delinquency from self‐report delinquency surpasses that of any other independent variable, regardless of whether the focus is on different types of crime (Haynie, 2001). On the other hand, lets note that exposure to deviant peers is not the only factor that leads adolescents in committing general delinquency. There are several factors that can lead a child into committing crime such as family, community, and school factors (Herrenkohl et. al, 2000). A debate remains over the means essential to the relationship between deviant peers and their effects on indiviudals. This is important because it illustrates that normal interaction with peer groups sways people to commit acts that wouldn’t be normal. Using the data from the National Youth Survey (Wave 7), I will investigate whether or not exposure to deviant peers affects whether adolescents participate in general delinquency.
Literature Review
Deviant Peers on Delinquency
Matsueda and Anderson analyzed the dynamic of delinquent peers and delinquent behavior. They test hypothesis from learning and interactional theories where peer associations creates delinquency and vice versa. They also examine control theories as well which competes with learning theories, which suggest that delinquent peers do not cause delinquency. They suggest that control theories explain that delinquent behavior has an effect on delinquent peers through terms of social selection, spuriousness, and response effects in measurement. Learning theories such as differential association focuses on how delinquent peers cause delinquency. Sutherland’s differential association explained that crime is a learned while interacting with others, learning takes place when you are in a group environments, and individuals take on definitions and attitudes that are favorable to them (Matsueda, 1982). The NYS data is used to measure which factor creates delinquency. Results shown in the study suggest that delinquent peers and delinquency are related and go hand in hand and delinquency on delinquent peers larger than the effect of delinquent peers on delinquency. “Elliot and Menard analyzed the NYS data and found out delinquent peers preceded association with delinquent friends for more respondents than delinquent behavior preceded association with delinquent friends (Matsueda and Anderson, 1998).” Robert Agnew argues...

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