Essay On Juvenile Delinquency

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Relationship between Juvenile Delinquency and Family Structure There is little debate about the importance of family structure and parental guidance in raising a child. The family is a child’s initial means of learning and socialization. Research has found correlations between poor family structures and juvenile delinquency. There has been, however, some debate about the significance of these relationships. There are many factors of the home that may influence delinquent behaviors such as broken homes due to divorce or death of a parent, parental supervision and discipline, and parental characteristics that may influence deviant behavior in their children. Researchers continue to examine the relationship between juvenile delinquents and their families by means of social control theory. Clark & Shields (1997) researched the correlation between communication with one’s parents and juvenile delinquency. The study hypothesized that “good” communication with ones parents would represent significant trends of lower rates of delinquency as well as less serious forms of delinquency. The sample was limited, consisting of 339 high school students from a small, rural, Midwestern city comprised of mostly white students. Data was collected voluntarily and assured confidentiality through use of an anonymous questionnaire designed to measure the degree of openness and honesty during conversation with their parents. To measure delinquent activity, a modified Self-Report Delinquency scale was used, consisting of 25 questions relating to delinquent behavior. The study concluded that good family communication decreases the risk of delinquent behavior in children as well as the seriousness of delinquent behavior, while children who are less open in ... ... middle of paper ... ...udy concluded that transitioning from a single-parent household to a two-parent household has an aggravating effect on delinquent behaviors; however, transitioning from a two-family household to a single parent household does not. Also, family transitions have little effect on family time and parental attachment. Family interaction has an undeniable impact on children, from the time they are born to the time they turn 18, and even after they become adults. Parents, guardians, even older siblings, whether they are aware of it or not, act as role models. Children learn the fundamentals of human life and how to interact with society from their parents. Because of this familial influence, it is important to study the impact of family dynamics on children and their behaviors in order to develop effective prevention programs to decrease the risk of juvenile delinquency.
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