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The Most Prevalent Causes Of Juvenile Delinquency

1287 words - 6 pages

Juvenile delinquency is a problem these days, despite a recent drop in arrests. Roughly 2.5 million juveniles are arrested every year for different crimes in America. About 100,000 of those are violent crimes, however those statistics are slightly inaccurate since only half of juvenile crimes are reported (Juvenile Justice Basic Statistics, 2011). Creating interventions to assist at-risk youth means preventing them from starting on a path to crime is a priority. Juvenile justice system researchers and professionals must gain a better understanding of the contributing elements that cause delinquent behavior.
The study seeks to determine the most prevalent causes among the criminal population ...view middle of the document...

The actions will be divided into categories of aggressive and nonaggressive delinquent behavior in order to allow for analysis of possible distinct reasons for each. The causal factors for delinquency is defined as attention deficit and impulsivity problems, depression and mood, academic achievement, and parental supervision. Each of them will utilize self-report measures from both the juvenile, and, for those factors involving the family, one of their parents or guardians, as well. These definitions can provide a great deal of explanatory power for the reasons behind different types of juvenile behavior (Farrington et al., Van Hulle et al., 2007). These factors will serve as the independent variables for this study, and the dependent variable will be the frequency of delinquent behavior.
Sampling will be performed based on juveniles of high school age that will be recruited from community samples; recruiting will take place on campus at schools throughout a major American city. Recruiting will take place in neighborhoods from various socioeconomics backgrounds, so as to provide a diverse sample both economically and racially, as ethic minorities tend to be located in lower socioeconomic status may contribute to delinquent behavior (Van Hulle et al., 2007). Interviewers provide numbers to be contacted while recruiting, with the permission of schools, and offered $40 for participating in a study that will involve an interview with them and their parents. After calling, they will be screened with a series of demographic questions including their age, ethnicity, level of socioeconomic status, and frequency of criminal behavior; their answers will be kept confidential, as will information in the study, but they will be used in order to obtain certain levels of participants for the study. Only juveniles reporting some frequency of criminal activity in the past six months will be recruited, and recruiting will strive for at least 10 percent African-American youth, 15 percent Hispanic youth and an equal amount of males and females in order to provide a representative sample of minors to reflect these attributes of the American population (Farrington et al., 2002).
Interviews will done at the homes of participants after school, with interviewers going to the homes to conduct research. The interviews will go on for roughly 2 hours and will consist of asking the student, and their guardian, confidential questions, then after the interview they will be given compensation. The only people present in the room during the interview will be the interviewer and interviewee, in order to maintain confidentiality and to help the interviewee feel more comfortable which in turn will help get honest and accurate responses (Van Hulle, 2007). The answers will be arranged by frequency over the past week, past month and so on. The interviewer will use temporal cues to help participants recall events and frequencies; for example, “Did you have drinks over the holidays?...

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