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The Influences of Juveniles and Criminal Behavior Essay

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The Influences of Criminal Behavior in Juveniles
Krystal Astran
COM/156

Is the youth of today facing a predisposition of uncontrollable circumstances, which has contributed to an increase of criminal behavior? The nation, of today, faces more criminal behavior among juveniles than in years past. Understanding the characteristics that contribute to the delinquency and behavior are an important issue, which needs addressing. Many youths who resort to criminal activity face challenges, which are beyond their control. From the early developmental stage, to adolescence, and into adulthood, every child has choices and decisions that determine their life’s outcome. Many behaviors are a direct influence of the environment in which they grow and live.

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The increase in criminal behavior, among juveniles, attributes to issues with education, ethnicity, mental and behavioral problems, poverty, social development, and family structure. Educational circumstances, including poorly rated schools, are a leading cause of criminal behavior among juveniles. These schools are often located in an under developed or under privilege area. Many parents do not have a choice as to where their child will attend school. Instead, the child must attend the school in the area which they live or where their school boundary lay. Every school rating is different, and based on the social and economic surroundings, which means a child could attend a school with an unacceptable rating. Schools rated as unacceptable statistically have youths with behavior issues according to. While it is not necessarily the schools rating that can affect the behavior of children, it can certainly contribute. Juveniles, which are non-educated or lack education, also contribute to increase of criminal behavior.

From the first day a child attends school, the expectation is they are learning to become young productive citizens. The early development of school age children starts with their learning of the basic dynamics of structure including consequences, deadlines, directions, peer interaction, and rules. When children reject or do not learn these behaviors, they often rebel against those with authority. Rebellious behaviors include not listening and disregarding directions from teachers or any figure, which displays authority. Eventually, this repeated behavior can lead to more serious rule violations, such as not attending school, failure to turn in assignments, bullying, or fighting with peers. The risk is criminal behavior then increases as the juvenile rejects education and the lessons taught throughout their school career, which can lead to failing or dropping out altogether. Therefore, when a juvenile displays this type of behavior or rejects education, which consists of structure and guidance, criminal tendencies can arise. The family dynamic of a child often influences the life and the choices, which they make. For example, a child born into a family of married parents, both of who work and earn a decent living, may not face the same challenges as a child born into family of a single parent. There are many challenges single parent homes face while raising a child. Youths with a single parent, one income, earning enough just to survive, and live in poverty may have a harder time raising a child.

The resources necessary may not be available. As a child grows, they become more aware of their surroundings including an absent parent. A single parent may not have the extra time to spend with their child, the additional money to buy nicer clothes, or the means for extracurricular activities. Rather than face ridicule from peers, a juvenile may resort to criminal behavior, including stealing or shoplifting. Juveniles commit these types of crimes and behaviors due to a lack of funds or for acceptance of their peers. If a single parent is not there to guide and enforce rules, the child may never know the difference between right and wrong. The family structure is not always the choice of the juvenile; however, single parent homes are at a higher risk of having a juvenile who displays criminal behaviors. Criminal behavior among juveniles is also common among those, which directly experience the lifestyle from an early age, through either their own parent or other family member. The child may view the behavior as “normal” and will often mimic the behavior in order to feel accepted.

Another contributing factor of criminal behavior is the area, which the child lives. A juvenile, who lives in a poor or high crime area, can face many struggles including whether to participate in criminal behavior. If the exposure includes gang activity, drugs, and violence, the child also faces hard choices of partaking in the lifestyle. Juveniles, who face this type of family dynamic and lifestyle every day, are at an increased risk of falling into criminal behavior. The root causes, as to why juveniles resort to criminal behavior, may never fully be understood. The solutions and answers may still be years away. However, identifying and understanding issues, which juveniles face, can certainly start the process. There have never been instructions for parents or guardians on how to raise a child. However, children, at some point, are aware of the choices and consequences. Whether it is education, ethnicity, mental and behavioral problems, poverty, social development, or family structure, it is import that the life and the environment be examined. Losing the youth to criminal behavior can affect the nation, as they are the future leaders.

References:
McCurely, C. (2007, march). Self-Reported Law-Violating Behavior from Adolescensce to Early Adulthood in a Modern Cohart., (217588), 14-29.

Hagan, Michael P, King,Sandra L. (1997). Accuracy of psychologists’ short-term predictions of future criminal behavior among juveniles. Journal of Offender Rehabilitation, 25 (1-2), 129-141

Kelly, P. S. (2008). Treating the juvenile offender. Choice, 46(2), 397-397. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/225732998?accountid=35812