Juvenille Delinquency In America Essay

1641 words - 7 pages

JUVENILE DELINQUENCY IN AMERICAThere is no doubt that various experts can give us many theories as to the causes of juvenile delinquency, including one's economic background, substance abuse, delinquent peer groups, repeated exposure to violence, and increased availability of firearms, however, I feel that the number one cause of juvenile delinquency is the breakdown of families, including lack of parental control over children. It is ironic in America, today, one must have a driver's license to operate a vehicle, a permit to own a gun and even a license to own a dog, but one does not have to have training or a license in order to become a parent. Without specialized educational programs in child development and parenting, many of our future parents will not have a chance at becoming successful worse yet, many parents today are already contributing to the ever increasing problem of juvenile delinquency simply by not knowing how to be parents. Being a parent is a lifelong commitment and new parents must learn parenting skills immediately; they do not have the luxury of internships and often times, mistakes in parenting will have drastic effects on their children.What are some causes to juvenile delinquency?Studies have been made to determine the causes of juvenile delinquency. Many of these studies have focused on family relationships. In one study, comparing delinquent and non-delinquent youths showed that over ninety percent of the delinquents had unhappy home lives and felt discontented with their life circumstances. This study also brought attention to the fact that to these youths, delinquency appeared to be a sort of solution to them. It brought attention to youths neglected by their parents, or approval of delinquent friends, or it solved problems of an unhappy home life in other ways. Another study determined that youths from neglectful homes, single parent homes and homes in which substance abuse was a problem had a greater likelihood of being charged as a juvenile of a crime or status offense. In fact, research has shown that fifty three percent of these children are more likely to be arrested and thirty eight percent more likely to commit an act of violence.It is true, that depending on the level of functioning, families can negatively impact a child's development. In a study conducted using approximately 300 research study cases, it was determined, in longitudinal studies that socialization factors such as lack of supervision, parental rejection of the child, child rejection of the parent and lack of parent/child involvement were found to be the strongest indicators of delinquency. Parental dysfunction, such as criminality, substance abusers and poor marital relations were mid level predictors and parental health and actual absence of parent were weak predictors. In concurrent comparative studies, the strongest correlate of problem behaviors in children were the child's rejection of the parents and the parental rejection of the child....

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