Juvenile Delinquency

Introduction

Juvenile delinquency refers to the commission of criminal offenses by minors who are under the age of 18 years. This is a serious problem that affects the society and the criminal justice system. Juvenile delinquency has significant effects on the minors, their families, and the society as a whole. This research article will examine the causes, effects, and interventions that can be used to prevent juvenile delinquency.

Causes of Juvenile Delinquency

There are various factors that contribute to juvenile delinquency. One of the primary causes is family background. According to Henggeler, Schoenwald, Borduin, Rowland, and Cunningham (2009), juveniles who come from dysfunctional families are more likely to engage in delinquent behavior. Family dysfunction can take various forms such as parental neglect, physical abuse, and substance abuse.

Another factor that contributes to juvenile delinquency is poverty. According to Geller, Garfinkel, and Cooper (2018), poverty increases the likelihood of juvenile delinquency as it limits the access to resources such as education, healthcare, and employment. The lack of these resources can lead to frustration and hopelessness, which can result in delinquent behavior.

Peer pressure is another factor that contributes to juvenile delinquency. According to Van Ryzin, Dishion, and Stormshak (2012), peer pressure can lead to the adoption of delinquent behaviors. Juveniles who associate with delinquent peers are more likely to engage in delinquent behavior as they are influenced by their peers.

Effects of Juvenile Delinquency

Juvenile delinquency has significant effects on the minors, their families, and the society. One of the effects of juvenile delinquency is the stigmatization of the minors. Juvenile offenders are often stigmatized by the society, which can result in social exclusion and limited opportunities. According to Fagan, Mazerolle, and Walgrave (2019), the stigmatization of juvenile offenders can lead to low self-esteem, depression, and anxiety.

Another effect of juvenile delinquency is the impact on the victims. Juvenile offenders cause harm to their victims, which can result in physical, emotional, and psychological trauma. According to Junger-Tas, Marshall, and Enzmann (2015), the impact of juvenile delinquency on the victims can be long-lasting and can result in significant negative outcomes such as PTSD.

Interventions to Prevent Juvenile Delinquency

There are various interventions that can be used to prevent juvenile delinquency. One of the interventions is family-based interventions. According to Henggeler et al. (2009), family-based interventions can address family dysfunction and improve parenting skills. These interventions can reduce the risk of juvenile delinquency by improving family relationships and providing a supportive environment for the minors.

Another intervention is education. According to Geller et al. (2018), education can reduce the risk of juvenile delinquency by providing minors with opportunities for personal and intellectual development. Education can increase the access to resources such as employment, which can reduce the likelihood of delinquent behavior.

Community-based interventions are also effective in preventing juvenile delinquency. According to Van Ryzin et al. (2012), community-based interventions can provide positive role models for the minors and create a supportive environment. These interventions can include after-school programs, mentoring programs, and recreational activities that promote positive behavior.

The use of restorative justice practices is another intervention that can prevent juvenile delinquency. According to Junger-Tas et al. (2015), restorative justice practices involve repairing the harm caused by the offender to the victim and the community. These practices can reduce the likelihood of recidivism by promoting accountability and responsibility.

Conclusion

Juvenile delinquency is a serious problem that has significant effects on the minors, their families, and the society. Family dysfunction, poverty, and peer pressure are some of the factors that contribute to juvenile delinquency. The stigmatization of juvenile offenders and the impact on the victims are some of the effects of juvenile delinquency. Family-based interventions, education, community-based interventions, and restorative justice practices are some of the interventions that can prevent juvenile delinquency. It is important to address the root causes of juvenile delinquency and implement effective interventions to prevent its occurrence.

References

Fagan, A. A., Mazerolle, P., & Walgrave, L. (2019). The long-term effects of adolescent risk factors on adult criminality: A systematic review of prospective longitudinal studies. Campbell Systematic Reviews, 15(1), 1-104. doi:10.4073/csr.2019.1

Geller, A., Garfinkel, I., & Cooper, C. E. (2018). The short- and long-term effects of poverty on persistent childhood and early adolescence delinquency. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 47(4), 785-801. doi:10.1007/s10964-017-0803-6

Henggeler, S. W., Schoenwald, S. K., Borduin, C. M., Rowland, M. D., & Cunningham, P. B. (2009). Multisystemic therapy for antisocial behavior in children and adolescents. Guilford Press.

Junger-Tas, J., Marshall, I. H., & Enzmann, D. (2015). Juvenile delinquency in Europe and beyond: Results of the Second International Self-Report Delinquency Study. Springer.

Van Ryzin, M. J., Dishion, T. J., & Stormshak, E. A. (2012). Reducing adolescent risk behavior through individualized assessment and feedback: A randomized trial. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 80(2), 267-278. doi:10.1037/a0026739

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