Age-Graded Theory

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For centuries researchers have been trying to figure out if and how age relates to crime; and what happens to turn our youth into killers at early ages. Multiple studies have been done and many theories have evolved. One particular story of interest is the story of Alex and Derek King. Alex and Derek King were two teens whose early life at home was somewhat troubled. They were neglected by their mother whom worked at a strip club as a dancer and waitress. Their father Terry, worked odd jobs to keep food on the table and clothes on their backs but it was never enough money. For a while Alex and Derek would live with different relatives then eventually they were placed in foster homes. After being in foster homes, the boys were both returned…show more content…
Sampson and Laub believed that social control, repetitive activities, and human association, all directly and indirectly affect courses of crime across your whole life course (Seigel, 2011). Our text defines Age-Graded Theory as the casual association between early adult delinquent offending and later adult behavior involves the quality of relationships encountered at different times in human development (Seigel, 2011). During adolescent, social bonds to family, peers, and school are very important because it gives the youth structure. If theses social bonds or ties are broken, then it can lead the youth to crime and other forms of deviant behavior. Because of life changes and the subsequent alterations of developmental trajectories, the Age-Graded Theory of social control offers the possibility for both continuity and change in criminal behavior (D’Unger, et. al.,…show more content…
When we are young, we look for that love and attention from our parents or caregivers. Parents are supposed to give us structure and guidance. In Alex and Derek’s case, their mother did not give them the life skills they need to start out on the right foot. Being moved from family member to family member then in and out of foster homes did not help either. Poor parental discipline and monitoring can be the key to the early onset of criminality which can follow youth into adulthood (D’Unger et. al., 1988). Like the theory states, at certain points in their lives things happened that made them commit such an unthinkable crime (Seigel, 2011). There is no doubt in my mind that those issues that Alex and Derek faced as adolescents played into their delinquency. Alex unlike Derek continued a life of criminal activities that led him back to prison. Derek transitioned from adolescent to adult and decided to change his life for the

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