Juvenile Delinquency: Contributing Factors, Current Research and Inter

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Juvenile Delinquency: Contributing Factors, Current Research and Inter

By | May 2001
Page 1 of 7
Juvenile delinquency is a complex social problem that significantly impacts all members and processes of a social structure. Delinquency refers to a set of behaviors that are not in line with the collective practices and/or ethics of the dominant social group. Essentially, these behaviors deviate from societal norms and more specifically they violate established criminal codes and laws. Juvenile delinquency incorporates not only general criminal activity but conduct that is only unlawful for youths such as running away from home and skipping school. Current research into this difficult and pressing issue reflects a vast range of theories about, and predictors of delinquency as well as a multitude of strategies to control and reduce overall delinquency. The consensus among practitioners and researchers however maintains that juvenile delinquency is a dynamic, multifaceted problem with numerous potentially causal factors. Subsequently, investigators and professionals suggest that treatment procedures must focus on not only the immediate issue of the offender's deviant behavior but on every element within the context of that behavior as well, including for example, family relations and social support services/networks. Conventional practice has long associated early preventive measures with positive delinquency reduction results. In particular, timely recognition of at-risk youth and correction of ineffective or minimally effective parenting techniques are critical to the prevention of future delinquency (Lundman, 1993). Numerous risk factors have been identified as indicators or predictors of juvenile delinquency and those factors represent dysfunction at several levels, specifically within the structure of the offender's family. Some of these factors include conflict within the family, a lack of adequate supervision and/or rules, a distinct lack of parent-child attachment, instability, poor home life quality, parental expectations, out-of-home placements...

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