Juvenile delinquency: the core

What are some of the reasons discussed in the text to help to explain racial and gender differences in Juvenile Offending Patterns? Juvenile Delinquency is one of the most recent challenges to face the justice department. With estimated 2 million youth’s offenders, the U. S. A. has one of the highest numbers of juvenile offenders, making it the highest amounts the developed countries. These figures illustrate the importance of enactment of policies geared towards addressing the issue and particularly bringing the situation under control.

Juvenile Delinquency, continues to present major challenges to law enforces considering the fact that the problem is compounded with others such as street gangs problems, drug abuse, high drop out level amongst teens, as well as unstable families considering the fact that youth offenders are more likely to drop out of school at an early age and there fore enter into an early marriages (Baumrind, 1991). The text highlights differences in racial and gender juvenile offending patterns. Such differences are expected especially considering that men and women, are exposed to different vulnerable situations arising due to different predisposition.

For instance cultural orientations may influence what gender parents will give priority in regards to access to education. Some cultures tend to deemphasize the importance of education to the girl child something which puts the girls at a higher risk of Juvenile Delinquency. Vulnerability to Juvenile Delinquency can also be attributed to paternalistic attitude towards girls which in most cases is biased against the girls. Some parents especially fathers may give little attention to the girl’s making the girl vulnerable to bad habits which ultimately leads to Juvenile Delinquency.

In some instances, especially due to cultural influences and in some cases religious influence parents view the girls as resources especially in cultures which encourage dowry payment for girls upon marriage. In such cases the parents may just be interested in the prize the girls would fetch and not necessarily on the quality of life the girl will lead there after. This has seen many girls get espoused to dangerous criminals and at an early age once again exposing the girls to the risk of Juvenile Delinquency.

This trend when repeated for generations results into a vicious circle which if repeated for generations culminate into racial and gender differences in juvenile offending patterns. Discuss labeling theory. What are some of the policies or programs designed to reduce delinquency based on this perspective? Labeling theory is perhaps one of the most talked about theories by child psychologists. Since it’s coining, the word labeling theory has been used to mean different things but the meaning that stands out from the text revolves around the habit of associating certain negative attributes to an individual, a race, or even a group of people.

Usually, labeling is degrading and it’s aimed at offending its victims. When applied to teenagers, labeling can have far- reaching consequences, for the teens and it is a way of demoralizing them and making them feel unappreciated something which can adversely affect their behavior (Schonteich, 1998). Although labeling is rarely treated as an offence, there are various policies and efforts in place to deal with the vice. Just like profiling, labeling can result into interpersonal conflicts and it is a leading cause of teens’ deviance.

Several organizations have come up to deal with the problem notably the women movement whose aim is to sensitize parents on the effects of labeling. The women movement aims at eliminating the practice with an aim of solving the problem of Juvenile Delinquency which threatens to disorient more youths if unchecked. Describe parenting styles that can insulate youth from delinquency while also producing a well adjusted adolescent. The kind of parenting styles a parent adapts is very instrumental in determining the kind of child the parent brings up.

It is true that both genetics and environment played a crucial role in shaping human behavior (Schonteich, 1998). Several parenting styles are discussed in the test with an emphasizes on the following parenting styles;  the permissive  parenting style is characterized by the parent being indifferent  to the child’s behavior and parents who adapt to this parenting style are known to be responsive and non- confrontational   (Baumrind,1991  ). The permissive parenting style is praised for allowing an interactive environment in the home making both parents and children to feel free to deliberate on issues surrounding on behavior.

The style also enables parents to bring up responsible children, who can make independent decisions free from their parent involvement. The second type of parenting style in referred to as the authoritarian parenting style. This style is characterized by high-handedness on the part of parent resulting into dictatorial tendencies which makes the parents very demanding. This style if not well administered it can result into deviance behavior and careful contribute to Juvenile Delinquency. The other parenting style common amongst parent is the authoritative parenting style.

In this style, parents demand total obedience from their children and are very demanding although responsive (Baumrind, 1991). This style is likely to result into obedient children because the parent is in control and can always shape the direction the children take in terms of behavioral patterns. Finally there is the uninvolved parenting style whereby parents are more likely to be detached from their children’s affairs to the extent of rejecting or even neglecting their parental responsibilities.

Parents who adapt this type of parenting style are more likely to face rejection from their parents and yield into more juvenile delinquency behavior. Should status offenders be treated differently from juvenile delinquents? If a juvenile is a chronic truant or runaway, what should be done? To what degree should the youth’s home life influence the decision? Explain. Status offenders should be treated differently from juvenile delinquency because the nature of crime committed, is the common variable which determines how an offender is classified.

If a juvenile is a chronic truant or runaway, such should warrant the changing of the status of the offender into a more advanced status and perhaps the declassification of the offender into a status offender (Schonteich, 1998). The youth’s home life is important in deciding the course of action because it gives law enforcers a clue on the circumstances surrounding the offence. In conclusion it is evident from the discussion above that behavior is shaped by a number of factors such as weaknesses in the juvenile justice system social and economic factors, race, gender as well as parenting styles.

If the current trends of Juvenile Delinquency are to be reversed, the organizations such as women organizations have to play a bigger role in calling for policy changes as well as other measures geared towards improving teen behavior.


Baumrind, D. (1991). The influence of parenting style on adolescent competence and substance use. Journal of Early Adolescence, 11(1), 60-65. Schonteich, M. 1998. Juvenile delinquency: the core. Australia: Wadsworth Thomson. Learning…. Criminal Law. 2nd edition. Durban: Butterworths Publishers.