Youth Delinquency

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Youth delinquency, in law, is a “term denoting various offenses committed by children or youths under the age of 18” (Roberts, 2018). In the fields of criminal psychology, sociology, and criminology, youth delinquency has been a central focus point for many studies, in attempt to identify the underlying causes and factors of this complex, multi-faceted issue during adolescence period. According to the Public Safety Department of Canada, “children and youth under the age of 20 represent almost one in four people (23%) in the Canadian population” (Public Safety Canada, 2018). However, “37% of youth population reported having engaged in one or more delinquent behaviours in their lifetime, either acts of violence, acts against property …show more content…
Although there are many factors that contribute to youth delinquency, bad parenting behaviours have been defined as criminogenic, which refers to the “contribution of the likelihood of an individual to commit a crime” (Oxford, 2018). Depression, low self-esteem, personality disorders, and other psychological and emotional disorders, may be linked to bad parenting and consequently to youth delinquency. Negative parenting behaviours can psychologically affect young people’s character and personality, causing patterns of behaviours, thoughts, and emotions that may cause juvenile delinquency. Robert Agnew, an American criminologist, psychologist, and sociologist, developed the general strain theory; a theory that analyzes sources of strain in society that may contribute to juvenile delinquency (Lin, 2011). These sources of strain that affect an individual’s health include negative parental behaviours. According to Albert Bandura, a Canadian sociologist, youth delinquency can be defined as a social phenomena developed through learning experiences and observation of social interactions (Zimmerman and Schunk, 2018). Bandura refers this idea to social …show more content…
In the case where parents exhibit an authoritarian parenting style, they require that their child meets their high expectations (Hoskins, 2014). However, they provide low responsiveness and harsh punishments (Hoskins, 2014). Their focus is on obedience and conformity, and not on parental support for the positive growth of the child (Hoskins, 2014). The general strain theory, developed by the criminologist Robert Agnew, “focuses on negative treatment by others, highlighting the role of negative emotions in the etiology of offending” (Brezina, 2017). Agnew believes that parental pressure, defined as stress, due to high expectations, may cause psychological harm to the child (Lin, 2011). Distress, emotional behaviour disorder, anger, despair, anxiety, and frustration, are examples of causes of parental pressure in the case where the child is unable to meet their expectations. Consequently, these negative factors resulted by negative relationships may contribute to the development of youth delinquency. This parental style often leads to “low level of trust and engagement toward their child, discourage open communication, and engage in strict control” (Hoskins, 2014). Due to this environment, the child experiences issues in developing relationships with peers, exhibiting low social skills, as well as

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