How Deviant Behavior Affects Society

Topics: Juvenile delinquency, Crime, Family Pages: 7 (1883 words) Published: October 29, 2011
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How Deviant Behavior Affects Society

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This paper focuses on the causes and effects of deviant behavior in society. People are not born delinquent, this is a learned behavior developed through societal effect and cause. Deviance is a socially influenced or affected behavior. This paper explores the reasons deviant behavior occurs, offers examples of deviants' effects on society in many different ways and proposes that the effects of deviant behavior, which often start in childhood, at the familial level, have long lasting far stretching effects that endanger society, or harm society, more so than what is apparent at first glance. Furthermore, this paper concludes that more treatment in earlier years or elimination of root causes could decrease deviant behavior in society at large.

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How Deviant Behavior Affects Society

Dysfunctional families, those families that exist in conflict, in chaos, in abusive situations and those unhealthy or abnormal are more likely to produce juvenile delinquent behaviors in youth. The changing nature of the family unit in America increases the likelihood for juvenile delinquency to occur in the United States. As shown here, a series of studies and examples offer proof that the likelihood that a higher level of adult delinquent behavior is caused by delinquent behavior patterns learned or ingrained during the juvenile years. These behavioral patterns, as will be shown in this paper, are more likely to manifest themselves in juveniles that succumb to peer pressure or are affected by dysfunctional family situations than are those children who live routine, typical lives in what is considered the nuclear family including father, mother, etc.

“Family context has been identified as a central domain in the study of delinquency, particularly during early childhood. As youth enter adolescence peer associations become a much stronger influence. Using a sample of pre-adolescent youth, this research examines the effect of family and peer relationships on delinquency. Specifically, path analysis is used to test the effects of family structure, parental supervision, and parental attachment on serious delinquent behavior to determine if a youth's family life has a unique effect on serious delinquent behavior, or if familial relationships are mediated by peer Deviant 4.

associations. Findings suggest that parental variables are indirectly related to subsequent, serious delinquency, whereas delinquent peer association exerts a strong, direct effect. The study offers insight into the roles that a youth's family life and peer associations play in explaining delinquent behavior.” (Ingram J.R., Patchin, J.W., Huebner, B.M., McCluskey, J.D., Bynum, T.S., 2007)

While studies validate the theory that delinquent behaviors adopted in juveniles often occur due to outside pressure from family members, peers, and authority figures, the question remains: are more juveniles affected due to socio-economic causes, and if so, is it because the poor in society are more likely to have a dysfunctional family hierarchy?

Claims that single-parent households produce delinquents fit well with several theories. Some assume that children learn how to become adults by association with parents of their own sex. Boys reared without a resident father, according to this assumption, would be deprived of the association necessary for appropriate maturation. As a result, children are said to overreact by asserting masculinity through delinquent behavior. This opinion has been buttressed by reports suggesting that typical delinquents lack the guidance of a father. (Family Encyclopedia, 2010)

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If both families and economic pressures affected development of the youth in so far as their likelihood to succumb to adopting a philosophy and practice of reacting to their environment in a delinquent manner, the question remains as to how important peer pressure is...
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