Cjs 240 Individual Theories

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Individual Theories
T Edwards
January 9, 2011

Juvenile delinquency is a world problem that has been around for centuries. But it is

only now in this present era that the problem is truly being recognized due to the amount

of problems and issues it brings before the courts with young and under age adolescents.

Because of this research is being done to pinpoint the exact causes and reasons for

juvenile delinquency. It is common knowledge that children or teenagers are not created

alike, nor do they think or act the same either. However for some their actions are due to

genetics while others are psychodynamic. As these problems continue to manifest they

become known as theories.

My first theory that I will look at is the genetic theory. According to Thomson

Learning Inc. Juvenile Delinquency: The Core (2005), it stated that early theories

pointed out that delinquency was prone to run in families. The link to this is that a

child will inherit genes that control not only height and hair color but it will also include

behavior and mental disorders. Studies by Donald J. West has also shown that when

parental criminality is present their behavior and actions influence delinquent. One

example of this type of behavior is school yard bullying. It is said that 37 percent of

boys that has criminal fathers will become multiple offenders compare to those who

don’t. Furthermore findings revealed that juvenile violence among environmental

deprived homes was also connected to a lack of parental involvement (Thomas Learning

Inc., 2005).

The next theory is known as psychodynamic, which is the systematic study and theory

of the psychological forces that underlie human behavior. This emphasizes the interplay

between the unconscious and conscious motivation. According to this theory which was

introduced by Sigmund Freud the Australian Doctor, a person’s personality will consist

of three components. There is the id, the ego, and the superego. Each of these

components hold a thread that brings balance when each one is balanced and not taking

over the other. The id is known to seek pleasure; the ego is known to be a more logical

and learned behavior that helps one into not taking drastic actions. Finally there is the

super ego that brings balance, morals and conscience which helps in the reality of living

and making conscious and thoughtful decisions. According to Freud the psychological

processes are flows of psychological energy in a complex brain, establishing the basis of

psychological energy. When these alter egos’s are in balance a persons understanding is

forthright and acceptable. However when one ego takes over or over shadows the other

ego their tends to be issues where a person will act out and do unthinkable things. The

rationality on thinking is none existent (Lippincott & Wilkins, 2006).

As stated above we all know that no two individuals are alike. So with this in mind we

will take a look at why some adolescents are motivated to commit crimes and why others

in similar circumstances are not motivated to commit the same acts. We will look at one

important aspect that can determine some actions in an adolescent’s behavior which is

the home environment. A home environment that is stable, conducive and have attentive

and caring adults will at times produce a stable adolescent. When parents are a part of

their adolescent’s life in a positive and encouraging way it presents the opportunity for

that adolescent to do right and not to disappoint their parents. The adolescent will think

over their situation before acting out in a way that will produce criminal behavior. On the

other hand an adolescent that comes from a broken home with little to no supervision and

guidance will tend to do whatever they please. The unsupervised adolescent will be...
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