Juvenile Delinquence

Topics: Juvenile delinquency, Longitudinal study, Causality Pages: 2 (509 words) Published: October 30, 2013
Delinquent behavior during childhood and early adolescence is a major and costly problem for society. In an effort to learn more about the root causes of juvenile delinquency and other problem behaviors, research must be done to test if these factors are direct causes of juvenile delinquency. Serious delinquency and drug use are major problems in American society. Past research indicates that many variables correlate with delinquency and that many factors tend to increase the risk of later delinquent behavior. Some of these risk factors are child abuse and neglect, family disruptions, ineffective parental discipline, birth trauma, conduct disorder and hyperactivity in children, school failure, learning disabilities, negative peer influences, limited employment opportunities, inadequate housing, and residence in high-crime neighborhoods. The top three operationalization variables that I would focus on would be low income families, child abuse, and school failure. Are these three variables the cause of juvenile delinquency? Overall, research findings support the conclusion that no single cause accounts for all delinquency and that no single pathway leads to a life of crime. Research has not clearly identified all the causes that lead to delinquency or the factors that cause different individuals to take different paths. I believe that longitudinal studies are the best way to gain information on the causes of delinquency. These kinds of studies would be better to measure child abuse because it is hard to get a measure of child abuse if there are not proper documents from courts or law enforcement agencies.. Connecting with individuals on a deeper level instead will help get a better understanding. This type of investigation involves repeated contacts with the same individuals so that patterns in the child’s developmental years can be studied. The positive thing about a longitudinal design is that it permits researchers to sort out which factors precede changes in...
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