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Causes of Juvenile Delinquency

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Various forms of Trait Theories have been studied as being associated with Juvenile Delinquencies. “Developmental Theory is a view that criminality is a dynamic process, influenced by social experiences as well as individual characteristics. Developmental factors include biological, social, and psychological structures and processes (Larry Siegel 2011).” However, the following questions remain:

* What propels youths to commit crimes?
* Complex influences of a variety of biological, genetic, and environmental factors, and Further complicated; by various reactions to environmental factors. Are these theories actually proven?

* Why is it that only a few individuals who experience the same environments as many others actually commit crime? Criminological theories provide a scientific way to approach and understand why Juveniles commit crimes. The following factors have been reasons for many debates: Criminological Criterion: 1) Classical School Theories-Focus on individual free will and our ability to make choices as the central explanation for committing delinquency/crime (Bohm/Vogel 2011). 2) Positive School Theories- Embraces determinism and scientific method: Additionally, recognizing the role of forces that individuals cannot control or may not be aware of on crime and the role of science to discover what these factors are the positive school has 3 basic approaches: biological, psychological, and sociological. Why do Juveniles commit crime?

Based on the Positive School Theory, the following factors apply: I. Genetic processing of criminal tendencies.
II. Hormonal imbalances.
III. Neurological dysfunction.
IV. Developmental Theory (Biosocial Theories).
V. Environmental factors “age, sex, gender, and social status” (Lee Ellis 2011). Complex Influences:

Criminal offenses according to the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting System (UCR), Crime is determined in one of two ways: A) Part I Crimes: According to the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) are the most serious crimes reported by law enforcement officials. Commit serious property crime. B) Part II Crimes: Have less similarity in their reporting by each agency and represent the less serious (City of Eugene. 2010). Additionally, patterns of offending can be identified through the identification of behaviors related to offending directions determining the criminal pathways, and how many Juveniles adhere to criminal behavior when they get older (Keith Soothill & Brian Francis & Rachel Fligelstone (nd).

Differences in Juveniles who commit crime compared to others of the same environment, ethnic background: Juveniles who commit criminal activities, do it for various reasons, including the following: greed, anger, jealously, revenge, or pride. Although, some juveniles calculate a crime and carefully plan everything in advance to increase gain and decrease risk. They are making choices about their criminal behavior; even considering a life of crime better than obtaining a regular job- firmly believing that a life of crime has greater rewards, admiration, and excitement, until the point they are apprehended. Others may get a rush of adrenaline when successfully carrying out a dangerous crime. Others commit crimes on impulse, out of rage or fear. Other Juveniles, who do not commit criminal activities, may have had the opportunity for a better education, no experience of domestic violence in the home, and been completely sheltered against any outside criminal influences. Conclusion:

Despite the fact that various studies have been conducted related to Juvenile delinquencies, and proceeding through to adult age; however, the finalization is the fact that all Juveniles/adults, do maintain the choice of free will. Their ability to determine if they want to pursue a life of crime or avoid it by all cost is a choice of free will.


Bohm/Vogel. (2011). A Primer on Crime and Delinquency Theory. City of Eugene. (2010). Eugene Police Crime Statistics. City of Eugene Crime Statistics. Retrieved September 20, 2011. From:
http://www.eugeneor.gov/portal/server.pt?space=CommunityPage&control=SetCommuni ty&CommunityID=320&PageID=0
Ellis. L. (2011). A Theory Explaining Biological Correlates of Criminality. European Journal of Criminology. Retrieved September 20, 2011. From:
Seigel L. J. (2011). Criminology: The core (4th ed.). Belmont, CA: Cengage Learning. Soothill. K. & Francis. B. & Fligelstone. R. (nd). Patterns of offending behaviour: a new Approach. Home Office. Retrieved September 20, 2011, From:


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