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Juvenile delinquency- a product of a faulty environment

Updated on September 18, 2015

So who is a Juvenile Delinquent?

Various nations have categorized a juvenile as below the age group of 18 years. A juvenile delinquent is considered as one who engages in a criminal activity, who’s a minor and falling below the age as of which ordinary legal criminal prosecution is not possible.

Juvenile delinquency is an integration of variate factors that ultimately contributes to engaging into anti social behaviors. The various perspectives into juvenile delinquency are as follows:

A sociological perspective:

Personality shaping is a product of society. No individual can develop personality independently on his/her own. Our behavior is a direct consequence of our attitude and attitude is a product of personality which is an influence based on one’s environmental exposure. The process of shaping one’s personality is termed as socialisation. Socialisation converts man the biological being into a social being. Parenthood is said to be the primary socialisation agent. Apart from parenthood shaping one’s personality, the neighborhood atmosphere does influence personality too. Delinquency hence may be one consequence of failure of effective socialization.

For example, Children raised in urban slums where drugs and alcohol are easily accessible are far more prone to engaging into anti social activities.

A cause relation effect

A psychological perspective:

Man's behavior is shaped largely by external forces, over which he often has no control and for which he may consequently have no responsibility. The Freudian psychoanalytic theory provides a major perspective understanding to the scientific study of the early childhood experiences as the foundation for influencing later behavior.

The word delinquency focuses on "failure of duty", whereas the act of crime is defined as an "offense committed against morality”

A basic understanding goes to say delinquency is that of an asocial behavior whereas criminality is an antisocial behavior. Hence, faulty socialisation agents are one of the most proved cause to delinquency among juveniles.

Also, taking into account another view of an inability to deal with frustration adversely could contribute to the problem of delinquency where juveniles tend to deviate from societal norms. This would be engaging in asocial behavior.

On the other hand, antisocial behavior may be defined as an intentional violation directed against socially accepted behavior, motivated by hostility against the social system.

hence, asocial behavior leads to formation of a delinquent character while antisocial behavior leads to progressing into deviating forms of crime.

An economic perspective:

Poverty is a state of inaccessibility to basic community resources. Poverty is not a terminology for comparison but is a state of living in an insecure manner. Living in an insecure manner is a consequence of unequal distribution of society’s resources. Associated with living in poverty tags along a feeling of hopelessness and what is called “lack of future orientation”. This feeling could contribute to engaging in a role of delinquency because a young person may feel that he or she has nothing to lose anyway. Poverty is usually associated with living in a state of dependence where the poor are pushed into living in a condition where moral values no longer apply as filling one’s stomach is the top most priority.

Poverty, that is living in a state of dependence hence can be considered as a driving force to engaging into variate forms of criminal behaviors. Such individuals feel they have no other option but to do what they do!

Should the legal age of juvenile delinquents committing crimes be reduced from 18years to 16 years?

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Tackling the issue:

As sociological theorists believe, the root cause of engaging into deviant criminal behavior is largely influenced by the faulty social and environmental conditions to which the delinquent individual and their family are exposed to.

A social analysis needs to be conducted as to what are the factors that trigger juveniles in engaging into deviant forms of behavior. A social analysis would identify a cause-effect relationship. Only once the trigger of a deviant behavior can be identified only then can an intervention be brought about.

Take for example, analysing the relationship between juveniles who consume drugs and engage into deviant criminal activities. Here, the addiction to consume the next dosage of drugs would probably lead a juvenile to rob to get money to buy more drugs. This is a vicious cycle! The cause would be to get drugs and the effect relationship drawn would be getting tangled into a life of crime. So, the only means to tackling this would mean breaking the crave for substance abuse which would ultimately counter the cause of engaging into deviant activities. This would bring a means to an end!

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