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Juvenile Delinquency


The subject of Juvenile Delinquency is not a simple subject to deal with. There are many reasons for delinquency, some of which will be covered in this essay. The usual explanation is either it is part of the child themselves, their personality, their inner self (Nature), or it is because of their experience as they were growing up, especially in the formative years (Nurture).

Nature. Personality can very much influence the way that we behave. Some of us are more tolerant than others and some people are more willing to behave in a way that is expected of them. Thinking of classroom behaviour there is always few in the class that continually disrupt a lesson, and show little regard for the teacher and for the other students. However there may also be an innate problem. This could be anything from ADHD, to ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder), Autism or Dyslexia, as experiencing any of these difficulties can result in poor behaviour partially due to their own bad experiences of the ‘system’, and partially through misreading social situations, which will get them into trouble. They may also be poor judges of character and tend to gravitate to a group of peers that may not make the best choices themselves.

Nurture. How is child is raised is the other main explanation for delinquency. If a child was raised in an economically poor household this could be given as a reason. But in truth many households that are deemed as poor generally tend to be more loving and more disciplined than more wealthy households. So it is not the lack of money, so much as the lack of parenting skills and the opportunities for play and education that can have a diverse effect. But there are some experiences that you cannot protect a child from no matter how good the parenting skills are. These experiences may be through bullying or abuse and can change a child very quickly from a confident self-assured child into a withdrawn and antisocial offender, seeking attention through their behaviour.

In reality although it is reasonable to ask why a child becomes a delinquent, it is also reasonable to seek the best possible way to help the child move on and develop a new set of behaviours. One of the most effective ways is to take the child away from the situation in which the behaviour occurred. To do this the child needs to be educated in the way to avoid particular ‘friends’ and to understand the consequences of their behaviour.

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