Theories Into The Cause Of Juvenile Delinquency

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Theories Into The Cause Of Juvenile Delinquency Essay, Research Paper Can more than one theory be used to explain crime? Absolutely. From a liberal viewpoint, there exist two fundamental theories to explain the causal factors behind juvenile delinquency. Those theories are Social Deviance Theory and Developmental Theory. Young people become socially deviant by non-conforming. They become juvenile delinquents, and turn against the very system that is trying to help them. Society has made many laws and many standards have been set. The social deviant does not follow those rules and regulations. He/she lives a life of crime instead. An overview of approaches explains deviant behavior. Social Deviance Theory can be further broken down into five theories including anomie,

differential association, social control theory, conflict theory, and labeling theory. Social Deviance Theory is an important explanation in the theory of crime. Without this explanation, it would be impossible to explain a great deal of the factors involved in juvenile delinquency. Social Deviance Theory and Development Theories are the umbrellas under which other theories used to explain juvenile delinquency fall. Depending on the criminal and the type of crime committed, different theories are used. Social Deviance is acting against the norms of society. Development Theory deals with the manner in which a child develops into adulthood. This includes any insults or trauma, the individual’s behavioral response, problems in school, problems in society, etc. When a child

experiences trauma that child may act out. this acting out for attention can easily become delinquent behavior. Developmental Theory is not the only theory that explains crime. Social Deviance Theory is another theory that can explain crime, of which juvenile delinquency is a type. According to Hoffman, et al, (1997), R. K. Merton had certain psychological theories about crime and criminal behavior. In fact, “Merton recognized that a conceptional framework was needed to better explain social deviance and criminality” (180). Anomie is one kind of social deviance. Anomie represents social instability. The person’s standards and values are broken or non-existent (Hoffman, et al, 1997). It is not surprising that many young people today have broken or non-existent standards.

Both parents work, or there is only one parent. Some crime can be explained by developmental theory. Female delinquency is one that can. According to empirical research, interpersonal problems cause subjective strain or a response of distress. The literature concerning development points to the adolescent period as the time in which this behavior is particularly strong. Adolescents lack the skills that adults have available, such as coping skills, social supports, and coping resources. Males are not as concerned with interpersonal goals as females are. This points to the evidence that relational or interpersonal problems are more likely to lead to female deviance. This type of deviance manifests in delinquency (Agnew & Brezina, 1997). Many young people see themselves as

mature, however, they are simply not mature enough for their coping mechanisms to have properly developed. This leads to problems. According to Thoits (1995), sociologists spend a great deal of time attempting to explain the deviant behavior of juvenile delinquency. Their etiological theories have generated extensive research in the areas of anomie theory, conflict theory, control theory, differential association/learning theory, and labeling theory, which are forms of Social Deviance Theory. Sociologists have used the research of such psychologists as Asch (1955), Cartwright (1968), Milgram (1969), and Sherif (1988) (Thoits, 1995, PG). Social Deviance Theory is used as a gauge in the studies of juvenile delinquency. There has to be some kind of devise for measuring social