A look at major theories of delinquency

Another disorder that is often associated with antisocial behavior and conduct disorder is major depressive disorder, particularly in girls Kovacs, ; Offord et al. It is important to note that since poor cognitive abilities and problem behaviors in the preschool years also 1 Executive functions refer to a variety of independent skills that are necessary for purposeful, goal-directed activity.

Yet the trend toward integration in delinquency theory has been apparent for more than a decade, and it seems likely to continue. An association between perinatal risk factors and violent offending is particularly strong among offenders whose parents are mentally ill or very poor Raine et al.

Theoretical work of this kind coincided with important research on the policing of juveniles e. It has been suggested that large family size is associated with less adequate discipline and supervision of children, and that it is the parenting difficulties that account for much of the association with delinquency Farrington and Loeber, The A look at major theories of delinquency consists of nine principles.

It may not be the family structure itself that increases the risk of delinquency, but rather some other factor that explains why that structure is present.

According to this viewpoint, determining which groups in society will experience more delinquency than others may be largely a matter of deciding which laws will be enforced.

Consistent discipline, supervision, and affection help to create well-socialized adolescents Austin, ; Bender, ; Bowlby, ; Glueck and Glueck, ; Goldfarb, ; Hirschi, ; Laub and Sampson, ; McCord, ; Sampson and Laub, Cohen argues that these subcultural values represent a complete repudiation of middle-class standards: The specific direction of the motives and drives is learned from definitions of the legal codes as favorable or unfavorable.

Juvenile Delinquency

Children raised in low-socioeconomic, high-delinquency areas were exposed to both conventional and criminal value systems. The ideas of Skinner and Bandura would later be adopted by sociologists.

However, in the "disorganized slum," where these spheres of activity are not linked, violence can reign uncontrolled. From this viewpoint, efforts to reform or deter delinquent behavior create more problems than they solve. Feminists contend that previous perspectives in criminology have bee gendered in such a way as to ignore the gendered experiences of women and to assume the experience of men is normal.

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There is evidence, however, that predictors associated with onset do not predict persistence particularly well Farrington and Hawkins, The strain and frustration resulting from blocked opportunities increase the likelihood that some individuals will use deviant and illegitimate means to achieve their goals.

Our theories are much more attentive to why young people become delinquent than to why they stop being so. Parents who reject their children or who express hostility toward them are more likely to punish them.

Capital punishment is irreparable and makes no provision for mistakes. The earliest North American efforts to explain crime and delinquency in terms of social control focused on the absence of social bonds at the community level.

Theories of Delinquency

One longitudinal study reported that involvement with antisocial peers was the only variable that had a direct effect on subsequent delinquency other than prior delinquency Elliott et al. Care must be taken in generalizing this literature to girls and minorities and to general populations.

Communities in which criminal activities are common tend to establish criminal behavior as acceptable. Social Process Theories Social process explanations of delinquency focus not on societal structures but on social interactions between individuals and environmental influences that may lead to delinquent behavior.


Strain Theories Strain theory is a social structure theory. Page 73 Share Cite Suggested Citation: Persons with little formal education and few economic resources are denied the ability to acquire the goals of American society, thus producing a sense of alienation, hopelessness, and frustration.

Therefore, any theory that is widely discussed today must explain delinquent offenses in the minds of some people. Youths that do not have delinquent peer associations tend not to be involved in juvenile delinquency. Why or why not. Yet the trend toward integration in delinquency theory has been apparent for more than a decade, and it seems likely to continue.

The assumption, of course, is that these meanings and definitions, these symbolic variations, affect behavior. Much research has concentrated on the onset of delinquency, examining risk factors for onset, and differences between those who begin offending early prior to adolescence versus those who begin offending in midadolescence.

Thus the decline in delinquency after about age 18 parallels the decline in the importance of peers, including those with deviant influences.

Males born to unmarried mothers under age 18 were 11 times more likely to become chronic juvenile offenders than were males born to married mothers over the age of 20 Conseur et al. Ronald Akers questioned whether offenders really make rational decisions to commit crime based on knowledge of the law and possible punishments; and whether their decision was made in the absence of any situational factors that tend to influence crime.

Not only may association with delinquent peers influence delinquent behavior, but also committing a crime with others—co-offending—is a common phenomenon among adolescents Cohen, ; Reiss and Farrington, ; Reiss, ; Sarnecki, Psychopathy is a controversial theory, and much disagreement centers on whether the theory should be applied toward children and adolescent delinquents.

At root, Vold argues, the problem is one of intergenerational value conflict, with adults prevailing through their control of the legal process.

According to Beccaria, the system would follow these principles: To fully appreciate the development of these individual characteristics and their relations to delinquency, one needs to study the development of the individual in interaction with the environment.

juvenile delinquency, Theories of

ABSTRACT. Examining Juvenile Delinquency Contributors through Life-Course and Strain Theory. by. Caitlin Burns. For years the causes of juvenile delinquency have drawn a. A large number of individual factors and characteristics has been associated with the development of juvenile delinquency.

These individual factors include age, gender, complications during pregnancy and delivery, impulsivity, aggressiveness, and substance use.

Theories of Delinquency

Theories of Delinquency is a comprehensive survey of the theoretical approaches towards understanding delinquent behavior. Donald Shoemaker aptly presents all major individualistic and sociological theories in a standard format with basic assumptions.

juvenile delinquency, Theories of The topic of juvenile delinquency is a fertile area for construction of sociological theory. Three major sociological traditions, including structural functionalism, symbolic interactionism, and conflict theory, contribute to the explanation of delinquency.

Learning Theories of Crime A perspective that focuses on where and how offenders and delinquents find the tools, techniques, and expertise to break a law Differential Association.

Most of criminological theories are applicable on juvenile delinquency. Nevertheless, it seems there is no theory which explains juvenile delinquency everywhere and every time. I'm interested for the same question, and I'm trying to find the best answer since

A look at major theories of delinquency
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Theories of Delinquency - Donald J. Shoemaker - Oxford University Press