Environmental Factors: The Causes Of Delinquency

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Causes of Delinquency There are two different views as regards the causes of delinquency one view is held by hereditarianism, who hold the belief that delinquents are born and inheritance is responsible –for antisocial behavior in youth. The other view is quite contradictory to the first view; it lays emphasis on the environmental factors as the sole cause of delinquency. 1) Heredity Psychologists have been making surveys of family trees to locate the causes of delinquency and crimes in the inheritance of the individual. Studies of family trees of Kalikaks, Jukes and Edward families prove that intelligence and crimes are inherited from generation to generation. Modern science of psychiatric genetics has little definite contribution to make…show more content…
Current emphasis on the body type and its relationship to crime and delinquency appears in the studies of William Sheldon and the Gluecks. According to Sheldon, the mesomorph (the muscular type) is more vulnerable to delinquency than ectomorph or the endomorph. Gluecks in their book “Physique and delinquency” have reported physical factors that differentiate delinquents from non-delinquents. Clinical approach. Some psychologists tried to show relationship between intelligence and delinquency. Healy and Brunner in their study of delinquents reported that 37 of delinquents were in subnormal range of intelligence. They concluded that delinquency was five to ten times more likely to occur among the mentally handicapped than among the normal group. John Slawson conducted a study of 1543 delinquent boys and a similar number of non-delinquent boys of same nationality, age and socio-economic status. His major findings concerning the relation between intelligence and delinquency are: 1) 8 out of 10 delinquents did not gain scores comparable to those of non-delinquents in abstract…show more content…
H.H. Goddard conducted study on levels of intelligence and their relation to delinquency. He concluded from the analysis of data of his studies. “Every investigation of the mentality of criminals, delinquents and other antisocial group has proved beyond the possibility of contradiction… that all are of low mentality.” Healy in his book, “This Individual Delinquent” has reported that the most recurring factor in delinquents was mental abnormalities and peculiarities. C. Burt studied the syndromes of many factors in individual case studies. He concluded that: Defective discipline in home, parental indifferences and vacillation, disagreement the importance of family environment and mother’s affection in process of social adjustment in later life of the child, 23.5 per cent delinquent boys had been deprived of mother’s affection in comparison with 1.5 per cent of non-delinquents. 36.5 per cent delinquent girls had been deprived of mother’s affection against 5 per cent of non-delinquent. 2) Environmental Factors Environmental factors which are responsible for delinquent acts will be studied under the sub-heads: (1) Ecological factor, (2) Home, (3) School and (4)

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