Broken Homes and Juvenile Delinquency

Topics: Family, Juvenile delinquency, Childhood Pages: 9 (2920 words) Published: November 28, 2005
Broken Homes and Juvenile Delinquency

I. Introduction

Juveniles are thought to be mischievous, almost expected to be in trouble. Realizing and understand what is too far is a major factor. Any action has consequences, but the measure of recidivism is what determines a delinquent from simple mischief. Broken homes seem to have hardship written all over it. The link between a broken home and delinquency are strongly believed. Much controversy resides in what is thought to be a broken home and what defines a family. Many different definitions fit these words. It just seems logically to conclude that a broken home leads to delinquent acts. A broken home can result in economic hardships, loss of some affection, adequate supervision that is provided by two parents, and easier chance to develop relationships with delinquents. Police are involved with crimes even more so with broken family children, with the fact of coming from a low income home and seeing that a child could continue down that path. Investigating more with police might be a link to broken homes and delinquency. Many research studies support the theory of broken homes correlating with delinquency. Through understand the definitions of the broken home and family, contributing theories, research studies, will broken homes be related to delinquency?

II. What is a Broken Home

Many people have different definitions for what a broken home is. Every definition matters. Researchers have collaborated to make a definition that fits for everyone, so that data gathering is valid. A "broken home" is defined as any home in which one or both parents have been removed by death, divorce, desertion, separation, or prolonged absence due to confinement in a institution (Weeks 48). The assumption that broken homes are one or both parents desertion of the child is just a piece to the entire broken home idea. The household believed to function the best is the intact or unbroken household. With all the family members living together and working together as a family unit, the assumptions of a healthy child rearing and avoidance of delinquency are thought to be attained. Two parent homes are thought to provide more adequate supervision, youths are then involved with delinquency less and the chances to be brought in front of a court are less likely than those youths of a disrupted family. The complete opposite is assumed for a broken home. With a broken home, the family unit is not whole; therefore, the parent or guardians cannot bring about a healthy child rearing and delinquency is inevitable. Parents are the main emphasis in the broken home. Having only one parent's supervision is poor, income lower and low attainment. With just these simple differences delinquency seems only natural in order to survive in the world. With the absence of an authority figure—either mother or father—different child-raising roles could possibly be missing (Wells 70). Two different family structures experience many different events through their life. Some may have significant effects are opposed to minor effects. Many different factors can play into delinquency, but can broken homes be an important factor? Many factors play into the broken home, but does a broken home become a factor in the cause for juvenile delinquency?

III. The Relationship

Many different explanations are given for disrupted families and their relationship to juvenile delinquency. Four different theories are proposed to explain this relationship. Trauma theory suggests that the loss of a parent has a significant effect on the child, due to the attachment. Life course theory is more directed toward the separation as a drawn-out process instead of being a discrete event, which builds up the stress levels. Selection theories are concerned with pre-existing factors are simple as family income and child-rearing methods (Juby 24). Hirschi's control theory assumes that delinquent acts...
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