Juvenile delinquency has been a crime since time immemorial, and it still exists up to date. It is a surprise, and many people fail to understand how juveniles commit murder. Juvenile delinquency has been appearing in the wake of Cultural Revolution, and it has become a serious problem arousing our concern in our societies today. Research has been ongoing ever since the emergence of such crimes and different scholars have come up with different answers on the matter. The researchers have especially been trying to figure out the causal agents of juvenile delinquency since it is believed that there are some factors behind the matter. Children murdering at some point have factors making them do such things (Bartollas, 2017). Causes driving these children to commit murder cannot be grouped to one single source but some factors altogether. This paper seeks to show that juvenile delinquency is not only affected by a child behavior, but it also depends on such factors as sociological perspectives, biological factors, and environmental factors.
Juvenile offenders are often grouped into one large group of juvenile criminals, but in the real sense, they are different at all chances. The juveniles are different and what causes or triggers them to commit crimes are vividly different. Even though some kinds of crimes they commit can directly be connected to life issues, it is not a guarantee that it is the cause of all that. Many children can be exposed almost the same life issues or rather a problem that made a juvenile commit murder, but not all will make the same decision of committing murder (Bartollas, 2017). It therefore clearly shows that there are other factors involved in the whole thing happening and not only the life experiences. Such factors as environmental factors, biological factors, natural and lastly physical factors are believed to be in play.
A research done in the past on the development of a normal child and the emergence of delinquent behaviors shows that social, individual and community conditions alongside their interactions in the ecological niche influences their behaviors. There is no overruling of the idea that children’s behavior including delinquent behavior is all as a result of some complex interplay of a person’s biological, genetic and the environmental factors which begins during the fetal development up throughout one’s life (Shoemaker, 2017). As biologists do say, genes influence the biological development. However, biological development only happens in the presence of an environment. Hence, the environmental input is part of a child’s end behavior.
Majority of young men and women grow all through from birth to adulthood without getting involved in delinquent acts despite the multiple risks of committing such actions in their life. Risk factors from the environment are very important since they help determine the kind of child we may have and from the analysis, it is determined whether a child needs preventive interventions. Through the analysis of child behavior, one can identify those who may end up becoming chronic offenders in the community. It is believed that most of the adult criminals got involved in some delinquent acts or shown the behavior of delinquency when they were young.
However, the hypothesis is proved a mere fallacy that is not true, most of them do not grow to become criminals later in life. Similarly, most of the chronically delinquent juveniles are always exposed to numerous risk factors at different levels making them commit crimes. However, many children are exposed to the risk factors too, but they do not become chronic delinquents. Additionally, individual risk factors that one may claim only contributes to a negligible percentage of the risk (Shoemaker, 2017). However, there is no denying the fact that the more a child is exposed to such risks in his or her life the higher the percentage of him committing the crime.
The diversity of the outcome of the risk factors with the literature upon them is so difficult when studied. Some people carry out studies that focus mainly on certain behaviors that encounter some analytic method for demeanor ailment or rather some belligerent behaviors considering the aggressive behaviors deeply even though others mainly depend on the juvenile court referrals. Moreover, various menace issues and their consequences at some point are striking to given points of teenager growth in comparison to others. Most of the pieces of literature that have examined juvenile delinquency in the past are majorly, grounded on the longitudinal readings of predominantly the white boys (Shoemaker, 2017). Most of the experimental tasters were cautiously selected from surroundings exposing children to high risks. A lot of care is taken when the literature is to be generalized to girls and the minorities in the general population. Much was learned concerning the antisocial and delinquent behavior.
Individual-Level Risk Factors
Several individual factors have been related to juvenile delinquency amongst children associated with such cases. The individual factors that are related to juvenile delinquency include gender, age, complications related to birth and even in the pregnancy period, aggressiveness, the impulsivity of a child and substance abuse. Research shows that some factors are resulting in juvenile delinquency point back to the right before the birth of a child (Sykes, & Matza, 2017). These biological factors related to the pregnancy period and as well during the birth of a child and as well moments after birth that is perinatal factors. These biological factors are evident at various stages of a child right from birth.
Age has been found to be very critiqued in juvenile delinquency as there is an established from which these issues begin showing up in the life of a child as he grows. The study of criminology has consistently shown that most of the offenders begin at a given age. It all begins in the preadolescence or at times in the early adolescence period, and it reaches the peak in the late adolescent period, and it falls through to young adulthood. Criminology in age relation to criminal shows a law-breaking experience at a given time during adolescence being relatively universal to the majority of American children (Sykes, & Matza, 2017). However, this character is mild and temporary. Statistics on research done on a sample of boys in London shows that their susceptibility to delinquent behavior begins at ten years and goes up to 17 years. Susceptibility to these acts decrease and probably ends at 24. Females, on the other hand, demonstrated a peak in violence that leads to delinquency at mid-adolescent. This study on the sample boys and girls went through to adulthood where it proved that only 25% of the children went ahead with their delinquent act to adulthood and that men are more susceptible to delinquent acts than girls.
Studies also prove that there is an association between perinatal and prenatal hitches and delinquency or rather criminal behaviors. The studies show that prenatal and perinatal risks represent a horde of dormant and patent conditions that affect the subsequent development of a child. Prenatal and perinatal are words used to describe the heterogeneous form of clinical and latent conditions. Prenatal and perinatal factors include activities things like premature birth, overweight and such complications (Sykes, & Matza, 2017). Children who experience either of this prenatal and perinatal conditions have a high percentage of developing delinquent behavior when they grow in an environment that subjects them to such risks. Measures also show that males who might have suffered perinatal or prenatal complications are more likely to become criminals than girls are since they are vulnerable to stress. Problems like hyperactivity, impulsiveness, and attention to be problems are related to perinatal and prenatal complications, and on the other hand, children with such traits are commonly associated with delinquency.
Children’s interaction with the people and their dukes influence the growth of delinquency and belligerent conduct (Bartollas, 2017). Domestic relations are always very vital in early childhood development but some of them may have long-term effects in their life, and during adolescent after childhood, the interaction of a child with peers is essential since these may or may not lead to delinquency. When the child in his development finds the factors in the family favorable, his or her peer’s influence will be the final determinant factor. When both the family and peer influence factors favor delinquent acts, the child will be delinquent.
Parents are guaranteed the sole responsibility of guiding their children and raising them as per the morals and rules of the society. Having been given this responsibility, they have to ensure children grow up with moral behaviors. It is therefore unquestionable that families with complications on how to raise a family are risking the possibility of raising children with delinquent behaviors. Family structure is very critical as well when it comes juvenile delinquency. Research shows that families raised by single parents do suffer complications in raising the children according to the moral standards (Shoemaker, 2017). By the fact that the single parent is unable to provide the moral ground for children development more so when the parent does not have a clear answer to why the partner is missing, these children have high chances of developing delinquent acts in their lifetime. They develop to become antisocial in the community and possess a high possibility of being juvenile eloquent.
The environment in which a family lives limits the opportunities in one way or another. Some communities have access to public transport permits in case the family does not own an automobile, and there are wide opportunities in the job market and as well the entertainment available extent the boundaries. However, in other communities, the common sight of street corner gatherings opens up a possibility of illegal activities (Bartollas, 2017). The moment opportunities are lacking in a community, frustration arrives, and by so, youths must find an alternative to replace what is missing to succeed. Statistics show that there is a high relation between unemployment, disruption of households, housing density, poverty, and crime. In such environments where there are no opportunities, children are exposed negative peer influencers from the unemployed peers and by these; they become more exposed to crime and hence juvenile delinquency. However, proper parenting with consistent guidance can protect the children from delinquency despite the type of neighborhood they come from, but poor socialization seems to be potent in neighborhoods, which are disrupted. One can, therefore, conclude that family life influences delinquency in various ways. Children from affectionate and more consistent parents are likely to become criminals as both juveniles and adults. On the other perspective, children from neglecting parents will always be affected by the environment. When the environment harbors criminals, these children become more likely to be criminals, and when the community is good, the will conform to the good environment around them and become good.
It is uncommon that drug abuse is related to criminal activities. Abuse of substance hinders the functionality of the mind the moment a young man or woman starts taking drugs; the chances are high that he or she will get involved in criminal activities. Drugs make them lose concentration, and the idea of committing the crime is a punishable act (Sykes, & Matza, 2017). From the risks, they are exposed to, substance abuse-possess a great danger to juvenile crimes. About peer influence, delinquency is shared amongst both males and females. Some research carried out in Michigan shows that out of the three deliquescent acts committed in Harley area, two of them were the same showing that the act was shared from the person who did it first and that is how peers influence other to commit crimes.
Probation of the juveniles has been a strategy used by the juvenile justice system to help in containing them in the society. It is used as a sanction for the juveniles who are adjudicated in the courts, and its main aim is always to divert the status of these juvenile offenders from the system of the court. Communities also use probation to monitor the risks youths are exposed to and prevent the progression of these risks to behaviors that are more dangerous (Bartollas, 2017). Probation helps a lot in restraining children from crimes.
Law enforcement police have also used the Police Athlete League to help these youths reduce the idle time that may make them get involved in crimes. PAL police is a kind of adolescence misconduct deterrence platform that uses athlete, informative and even frivolous events to create some confidence and comprehensively between the police and children. This conviction in the United States aims at reaching out the youths at a younger age so that they are not mislead and lastly get involved in criminal activities. The program makes them develop a positive attitude towards the police throughout their life so that they mature up as good citizens of the United States. It brings the youths under supervision by the police and positive influence of the law enforcement agency (Shoemaker, 2017). Through this, the youths are taken, and they get to know the responsible values and even the attitudes their parent’s inflict on them. This program after research proved that when a child respects the police on a football pitch or even a gym, the youth is likely to respect the rule of law and never imagines of breaking it. Big brother/sister is also another organization, and through it, the children have the opportunity to reach their potential with the help of mentors who have voluntarily agreed to guide them. This youth mentoring organization also helps the youths so that they are not able to get idle and engage in crimes.
There has been an increase in the number of young boys and girls presented by the police for questioning in the courts of law due to delinquent behaviors. It is even surprising that some of the crimes include even murder. Some people believe these kinds of activities depend on the child individually. However, there are factors that make this happen, and it is not just one factor. Through parental guidance, this crimes committed by children can be reduced. Organizations like the big brother/sister can also increase their reach to ensure children are properly guided. PAL should also extend their services to reach those children who are still out there committing crimes and help them.
Bartollas, C., Schmalleger, F., & Turner, M. G. (2017). Juvenile delinquency. Pearson.
Shoemaker, D. J. (2017). Juvenile delinquency. Rowman & Littlefield.
Sykes, G. M., & Matza, D. (2017). Juvenile delinquency and subterranean values. In Delinquency and Drift Revisited, Volume 21 (pp. 61-71). Routledge.