Does Family Structure Cause Juvenile Delinquency?

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Juveniles are referred as someone under the age of eighteen. According to the United States Department of Justice, “More than 70 million Americans, about 1 in 4 – are younger than 18…” There are many factors that are in play when dealing with what makes a juvenile delinquent. Most adult criminals have been juvenile delinquents at some point in their life, childhood is commonly where crime starts for adult criminals. It is not uncommon for parents to be the fault in the delinquency of an adolescent. Factors such as drugs and alcohol play a major role in juvenile delinquency. Children go through times in their early years where the only thing that matter is friendship, and some children will do anything to prove theirs. Family structure is …show more content…
Raising a child in a hostile environment can cause juvenile delinquency for many reasons. Parents can get caught up in arguing about their marriage, bills, health, and many other topics. Parents do not always realize what they are doing has an effect on their children. Many times, children do understand what the parents are arguing about and it can cause the child to want to leave or detach. Patrick Fagan, Ph.D., explains the divorce that not only happens between the parents, but also the children, “The primary effect of divorce (and of the conflict that leads to divorce) is a decline of the relationship between parent and child.” (Fagan) A decline in relationship can be devastating for the parent and child. Strong relationships between parent and child can be key to a successful crime free lifestyle for their adulthood. Children need proper guidance to make decisions in life and learn how to become more responsible, along with learning the difference between right and wrong. If the parent disconnected from the kid, the child will then have no one to consult with. Certain children will have destructive ways to handle conflict, which could result in criminal acts by the child. Fagan also mentioned, “For instance, compared to students from intact families, college students from divorced families use violence more frequently to resolve conflict, and are more likely to be aggressive and physically violent with their friends, male or female.” (“The Effects of Divorce on Children”) Children growing up in broken homes may know no other way to deal with conflict. If the child continues violent patterns into adulthood, it is no doubt the child will end up back into the criminal justice system as an adult. Without guidance or control form the parental aspect, it is hard for the child to behave properly when

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