Delinquent acts may emancipate from inadequate social adjustment by the juveniles to the societal challenges they face. These external societal factors impact on their physical and mental conditions influencing their ability to respond favorably, hence culminate in the participation in the delinquent acts (Bridges, 2007). Either of the delinquent acts committed by the juvenile may emancipate from a single cause or an agglomeration of causes over the past times. Therefore, it is hard to categorize the causes of the resultant delinquent act. School interactions, neighborhood conditions, and home conditions are some of the external societal factors which impact a juvenile's decision to participate in delinquency.
The family is considered to be the immediate societal setting of a juvenile. The conditions provided for by the family impacts on the physical and mental well-being of the juvenile which in turn is manifested by the behavior of the juvenile (Battin-Pearson et al., 1998). The home conditions which may contribute to delinquent behavior by the juvenile include;
Deficiency in the material: When a juvenile is not provided for with necessary materials, their mental and physical wellness is affected. Material factors are the basis of high self-esteem and confidence in their daily interaction with their colleagues. Lack of essential clothing such that the cloth is scanty will impact both on the confidence and health condition of the child. The juvenile may catch a cold as a result, and their self-image among their colleagues will be impacted negatively. Therefore, the child may devise ways to compensate for the deficiency in clothing, for instance, stealing from other children of the same age bracket. When a juvenile does not have personal property, which includes toys and other materials they term their own, may lead to stealing to gratify the need of having something of their own (Bridges, 2007).
Excess of material things: Juveniles raised in a wealthy family have many material things bestowed upon them. Such children with time develop the behavior of not appreciating things. Moreover, they may despise their colleagues who cannot have such materials as them (Bridges, 2007). Generally, those children lack the discipline required for existing in cohesion in the society.
The system present in the school may affect the mindset of the children, hence making them behave in certain ways. The conditions present in the school have a bearing on the physical and mental well-being of the child, thus when not properly regulated may lead to delinquent behavior by the children. There are conditions in the school system which may lead to delinquent act, they include;
Inadequate school facilities: Overcrowded school facilities impact directly on the physical wellness of the children. Moreover, the instructor may not control the discipline of the students. This gives them an opportunity to engage in the naughty behavior, which culminates in delinquent acts.
Rigid system: A rigid system constituted with stringent rules give rise to juvenile rebels. The juvenile is easy to detect the unnecessary rules and then develop rebellious behavior amongst themselves to counteract these superfluous regulations (Bridges, 2007). Moreover, once the children start rebelling against specific rules, they become increasingly violent and turn chaotic. School system having curricula not adaptable by various students will make them undertake truant with the intention of avoiding the daunting task of having to master the complex curricula.
Delinquent school companions: School presents the societal setting where children can form companions which may culminate into strong bonds. School interactions form grouping of students having a common interest, therefore, if their intent is purely mischievous, it may culminate in undertaking delinquent acts (Battin-Pearson et al., 1998). Moreover, there may be delinquent members in the group who may influence others to get involved in the criminal acts.
Neighborhood interaction may be similar to home and school conditions, however, the setting is considered to have various conditions which are not effectively regulated hence leading to delinquent behavior among the children in this social setting. Some of the neighborhood factors contributing to delinquent acts include;
Overcrowded neighborhood: The congested neighborhood is characterized by risk factors to delinquent behavior which includes dark streets, undesirable residents, poor sanitation, and noisy machinery among other factors. Children get the opportunity of being recruited into gangs which participate in delinquent behavior. Inside the gang, members are made to practice delinquent acts which include stealing and drug use among others (Esbensen, 2000). Such congested neighborhood does not have strict supervision from both the parents and law enforcers; hence the children are at liberty in getting involved in delinquent acts as they wish.
Proximity to the wealthy residents: Many slum neighborhoods are near the wealthy residence. Hence the children in the poor residence develop an attitude of wanting to live the life of the wealthy neighborhood. Some children may go to extreme means such as stealing to satisfy their wealth needs, in addition to other delinquent acts (Bridges, 2007).
The various factors leading to delinquent behavior among children are majorly found as the external conditions present in society. The home conditions, school system, and the neighborhood conditions are considered to be the major risk factors to delinquent behavior. These factors are not considered to work in autonomy, as they work in combination with another factor which leads to delinquent juveniles.
Battin-Pearson, S., Thornberry, T., & Hawkins, D. (1998). Gang Membership, Delinquent Peers, and Delinquent Behavior. Juvenile Justice Bulletin.
Bridges, B. (2007). Factors Contributing to Juvenile Delinquency. Journal Of Criminal Law And Criminology, 17(4).
Esbensen, F. (2000). Preventing Adolescent Gang Involvement. Juvenile Justice Bulletin.
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