Family Delinquency and Crime

An antisocial behavior can be described as any conduct that disrupts the society, displaying hostility and disdain to it (Encarta, 2008). On the other hand Kayne (2009) describes antisocial behaviors as those that are characterized by deviation from social standards and mores that enable people in the society to coexist peaceably. According to the studies that have been conducted, fifty percent of the crimes that are committed are by individuals with antisocial behaviors, although such individuals make up just five percent of the entire population (Kayne, 2009).

The male gender is the most affected by behavior disorders though the few women who are affected are never violent. Antisocial behavior can begin during any period of life; childhood, adolescence and adulthood (Kayne, 2009).

Conduct disorders are complicated behaviors and emotions that are found in both children and adolescents. The victims get themselves having difficulties in behaving the way the society would accept and also following the set down rules. These kinds of people are often aggressive to people, animals and birds; destructive to property, liars, thieves, and violators of other rules (Focus Adolescent Services, 2007).

Kayne (2009) differentiates antisocial behaviors and conduct disorder by stating that antisocial behaviors are referred to as conduct disorders when they appear in children; while in the adult age, are referred to as antisocial personality disorder. He also explains that conduct disorders appear in the earlier part of life just before puberty and in most cases continue into adulthood becoming more aggressive (Kayne, 2009).

Explain the self control theory and its relationship juvenile delinquency

The self control theory was invented by Gottfredson and Hirschi in 1990 and it predicts that low self control in a way affects deviance and crime. Another prediction found in the theory is the stability thesis which states that self control is developed when a child is still very young as a result of parental socialization, with differences in the individual persisting over time (American Association of Criminology, 2009).

Self control theory carries an explanation to all deviant and criminal behaviors, regardless of demographic factors or seriousness. Traits from low self-control are stable throughout an individual’s life and when combined with an opportunity, they become the major cause of crime (McMullen, 1999).

Juvenile delinquency is the term that describes minors that commit crimes. Delinquency is the committing of anything that may be considered as crime by the state which may include serious crimes such as arson and rape (Christensen 2009). The self control theory is any behavior that uses fraud or force to pursue self interest. The theory is applicable to juvenile delinquency as it states that many of the crimes that these minors commit are due to the lack of self control. Individuals with high levels of self control tend to have low rate of delinquency, crimes, and drug abuse. Delinquency is also caused by families and parents that are unwilling to monitor their children’s lack of self control (Eashwer, 2009).

Explain the ‘paradoxical effects’ corporal punishment may have on children becoming involved in delinquent acts.

Many would like to see children being spanked having in mind the saying “spare the rod and spoil the child”. Others have claimed that tougher disciplinary measures on children should be taken especially in schools so as to reduce the level of juvenile delinquency. However, there has never being a scientific proof that corporal punishment solves problems related to ones behavior, since it only deals with the symptoms and never with the causes (Roucek, 1970).

Maurer & wallerstein (1987) argue that physical punishment results into the rise of adrenalin output as in the cases of fear or anger. If this process continues for a long time, the endocrine balance does not move back to baseline; making the victim easily angered, having violent outbursts and also become vulnerable to poor impulse control.

This will result into underachievement in education which in turn would bring about delinquency as a form of “self defense.”  A report conducted on prisoners, school drop outs, college freshmen, and delinquents shows that thirty one percent of delinquents had severely received corporal punishment while hundred percent of those who extremely  received corporal punishment became delinquents (Maurer & wallerstein, 1987).

Discuss the factors relating to the possibilities of the family structure being a major contribution to a juvenile becoming involved in delinquent behaviors.

Many believe that a nuclear family (where a man lives with his wife and children) should be regarded as an idea family and that any deviations from it should be regarded as the cause of many problems that include delinquency. There are claims that single families are the greatest producers of juvenile delinquents a hypothesis which has been supported by different theories. One of such theories claims that boys that have been reared by their mothers tend to lack proper maturation thus overreact in order to show masculinity, unfortunately through delinquent behaviors (Net Industries 2009). Also many researches have shown that many juvenile delinquents hail from broken families.

Children living in a family structure where either one or both parents have died, are separated or are divorced are thought to be more vulnerable to be involved in criminal activities as family bonds tend to loosen. This is in contrary to those in intact families where both biological parents live with their children and as opposed to one parent being a step parent, or where the children live with their extended families, or a child has been adopted. The researchers concluded that juvenile delinquency level was higher in teenagers who were living with single fathers and not so prevalent among those living with both parents (Murry, 2006).

Identify some of the factors that could lead to inept parenting in single parent family households.

Several researches that have been conducted have tended to show that the main cause of delinquency is not single parenthood as such but poverty that is as a result of such a family (Net Industries 2009). Many single parents may not be in a position to financially support their children and thus may tend to get involved in criminal activities such as stealing, shop lifting and mugging in order to get money. Many single mothers or fathers may not have any outside support in raising their children, catering for their basic needs. They therefore find themselves playing supportive roles of both partners and this means working extra hard, an act that leads to limited supervision of the children (Net Industries 2009).

The other factor that may lead to incompetent parenting in single parent households is when the parent has no time for his children due to the many responsibilities that he may have to handle.  He or she will have the responsibility of checking their educational progress, spiritual growth and health among others. This would mean that he or she would not have enough time to offer guidance and counseling sessions to his or her children. This would eventually lead to moral decaying in the children (Fagan, 2009).


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