Adolescence And Delinquency Essay Research Paper I

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Adolescence And Delinquency Essay, Research Paper I couldn’t begin to cover all the possible reasons that may cause an adolescent to become a "juvenile delinquent." During my research, I found that the term juvenile delinquency is defined a number of ways. Mosby’s Medical Nursing, and Allied Health Dictionary summed up juvenile delinquency best with this definition; "resistant antisocial, illegal, or criminal behavior by children or adolescents to the degree that it cannot be controlled or corrected by the parents, endangers others in the community, and becomes the concern of a law enforcement agency"(1994). I found that most theories about what causes delinquency in children and adolescents originate with families and parenting. Many statistics and

studies have been conducted comparing the number of youths that had chosen a delinquent life style, with single parent households, or parents who were drug and alcohol dependant. It is my belief that three out of four parenting styles that we have studied in our text, when taken to extremes, can be just as damaging to an adolescent as a parent suffering from drug or alcohol addiction. Parents who exhibit an indifferent parenting style send the worst possible message to their children. "When permissiveness is accompanied by high hostility, the child feels free to give rein to his most destructive impulses"(Craig, 1996, p.316). And where exactly in the question of causation does nature Vs nurture fit in. What about the child who seemingly has balanced, consistent

authoritative parents, and still chooses a delinquent lifestyle. I’m going to address some of these issues in the pages to follow, beginning with an external factor that may influence some of our younger children; TV. The impact of television violence has been debated since TV first arrived in America. According to a study highlighted in US News and World Report, the more violent TV programs children watch, the more likely they are to commit violent crimes. "The greatest impact is on pre-adolescent children who do not yet have the capacity to gauge what is real and what is not" (Zuckerman, Aug. 2,1993). The theory states, that combined with a lack of parenting by "plugging" children into the TV, these children later in life will be conditioned to violence,

regarding it as exciting, charismatic, and effective. Opponents of this theory argue the "solution to the problem of television violence may be to reinforce the traditional institutions of church, family and neighborhood, which provide the moral armor against bad influences from other sectors of society" (Bender @ Leone, 1997,p.57). These advocates sort of differentiate between good and bad violence on TV. One example is the popular television show Law and Order, which is divided into two sections. In each episode is the depiction of a crime, followed by a trial of the accused. Probably the most controversial focus of juvenile delinquency causation can be attributed to the breakdown of families, giving rise to a large number of single parent households. According to

Robert L. Maginnis, a link does exist between single parent families, juvenile delinquency and crime. "Children from single-parent families, he argues, are more likely to have behavior problems because they tend to lack economic security and adequate time with parents" (Maginnis, 1994). "Children from single-parent families are two to three times more likely to have emotional and behavioral problems than are children in two parent families" (Bender, Leone, 1997 p.64). This report goes on to say these children "are more likely to drop out of school, to get pregnant as teenagers, to abuse drugs, and to be in trouble with the law." Bender and Leone cite a study from the Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency that reports the most reliable