Strain Theory Of Juvenile Delinquency

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The term “juvenile delinquency” is fairly new in respect to the world of criminology and the justice system. Until around the 1800s, children and adults were treated equally in regards to the law. In fact, the word “delinquent” was not even used until the 19th century. Delinquency is best defined as “violations of the criminal law by minors” (Agnew 4). However, adults gradually came to the consensus that children do not act similarly to adults and the reasoning behind their actions are not similar to those of adults and therefore should be treated differently than adults, including punishments for law-breaking. Juveniles today have a separate court system that places the emphasis on correcting the behavior rather than punishing the individual.…show more content…
The strain theory states simply that there are many stressors in a young person’s life which may cause them to “act out.” The social learning theory states that adolescents imitate what they see either at home or within their peer group, which often leads to imitating criminal or delinquent behavior. The control theory states that the amount of control a parent has over their child (whether too strong or too loose) has an impact on their behavior and their likelihood to engage in delinquent behavior. Finally, the labeling theory focuses not on what initially causes delinquent behavior but the reaction that such behavior sanctions and the behavior that follows said reaction. In many cases, one aspect in an adolescent’s life can be related back to more than one, if not all four of these theories. The content that is shown through media outlets such as video games and television has a major impact on the behavior of adolescents…show more content…
“…this basic position is likely consistent with both social and biological theories that emphasize influences more proximal to youth than media effects, such as family environment, peer influences, and evolutionary and biological influences” (Ferguson 379). An example regarding two different young males can explain this third variable. These young men are approximately the same age, enjoy the same video game, and even attend the same high school. One young man is being raised in an upper-middle class home. He is encouraged by his parents to do well in school and go to college one day so he can live a successful life. He is active in many different clubs in school and spends the majority of his free time participating in those clubs and extra-curricular activities. On the weekends, he likes to play a video game called Grand Theft Auto. This game depicts violence, death, drugs, and sexual exploitation. He understands that it is a game and, although he enjoys playing it, he does not want his life to be like the main character of the video game because he is not a relatable character to the young man. There is nothing glamorous or intriguing about the character or his lifestyle, the young man simply enjoys playing the game for a little bit of fun when he gets the chance. The other young man comes from a
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