Social Issues / Theories Behind Juvenile Deliquency
Theories Behind Juvenile Deliquency
Autor: andrey 01 April 2011
Words: 2285 | Pages: 10
Juvenile Delinquency Prevention in New Jersey
Part 1 – Delinquency Prevention Theories
At the heart of juvenile delinquency programs, there are seven criminological theories that stand out in a rallying cry. Strain theory, social disorganization theory, social learning theory, social- and self-control theory, labeling theory, and situational theories. We are told juvenile offenders who in particular use illicit drugs and commit crimes do it generally due to the lack of self control. As well, the lack of parenting skills within families who are either not able or not willing to pay attention and monitor these behaviors of their children is a lack of self control. However, we do need to keep in mind that for these theories to be effectively played out self control would have to work before social control can work. (Hirschi, 2001)
Self Control Theory
Self control theory, is a concept used to explain differences among people in the frequency of engaging in a wide variety of acts that cause harm to others (Gottfredson & Hirschi 1990). Simply defined it is the tendency to avoid acts whose long-term costs exceed their momentary advantages. Individuals with somewhat high levels of self-control will have low rates of delinquency, crime and illicit drug use because those behaviors would have potential long term effects.
Social Disorganization Theory
Social disorganization theory, one of the oldest theories, asserts that one becomes involved in delinquent acts as an alternative activity for youth who do not have a social connection with personal and/or community institutions. This lack of connection can come from such things as rapid social changes I.e. war or revolutions, racism, or fragmented family socialization. This theory stresses that delinquency is not abnormal but a normal human response by normal people to abnormal social situations (Spergel, 1995). Two prominent social disorganization theorists, (Shaw & McKay, 1942), used official police statisti...