Bullying & Juvenile DelinquencyBullying and juvenile delinquency are prevalent issues across the world.Research has proven the causes of these issues, as well as solutions andtreatment options for the aggressors and their victims.
Bullying & Juvenile DelinquencyA teenager’s stress level, use/abuse of substances, or having a dysfunctionalfamily are symptoms of delinquency. In addition, children with low self-esteem,caused by such issues, are often bullies.“Low self-esteem ranks among the strongest predictors of emotional andbehavioral problems. Compared to people with high self-esteem, people withlow self-esteem tend to be more anxious, depressed, lonely, jealous, shy, andgenerally unhappy” (Haupt, Leary & Schreindorfer, 1995).
Bullying & Juvenile DelinquencyIt can be argued that juveniles are exposed to bullying and delinquent behaviorfrom their peers, as well as from observations in their homes and surroundingcommunities. Such observations encourage such behaviors.Furthermore, statistics show that children who have fathers “. . . with a historyof incarceration increases [the children’s] risks of delinquency, criminality,incarceration, and other problem behaviors” (Wildeman, 2010).Children with an incarcerated parent may undergo therapy to deal with the lossof their parent, but when the parent returns and the child is back in his or herold environment, then he or she slips back into his or her old ways.
Bullying & Juvenile DelinquencyJuvenile delinquency can occur in both males and females, but males tend tobe more aggressive in their delinquent acts. The United States Office ofJuvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention developed a list of factors whichplace teenage girls at a greater risk of delinquency: “1) Need for physical safety: challenged by poverty, violence, inadequate health care, and substance abuse 2) Need for trust, love, and validation from caring adults: challenged by family dysfunction and abandonment 3) Need for positive role model: challenged by sexist, racist messages, and lack of community support 4) Need to belong, to feel competent and worthy: challenged by weakened family ties, negative peer influences, and academic failure” (Cummings, et al, 2001).
Bullying & Juvenile DelinquencyA research study conducted in Canada discovered that adolescent girls were infewer physical fights than boys and did not carry weapons as often as boys.But, when the girls did carry a weapon, they were more likely to fight physically.Additionally, “both maternal and paternal verbal and physical aggression weresignificantly related to daughters’ aggression at home and with peers. Negativecommunication styles by parents, parental rejection, or low parental supportwere also related to adolescent girls’ aggression” (Cummings, et al, 2001).
Bullying & Juvenile DelinquencyResearch has shown that sexual minority youth, including gays, lesbians, andbisexuals, experienced more peer abuse than other youth. However, theresearch pointed out that the abuse did not cause the youths’ sexualorientation, the abuse was a result of such orientation.Kids who are bullied, regardless of whether they are of the sexual minority, “. ..are more likely to experience poor school performance, delinquency, socialisolation, psychological and substance abuse problems, and other issues. . .”(NewsRx Health & Science, 2011).
Bullying & Juvenile DelinquencyPoor mental health and poor role models are two of the biggest factors withbullying and delinquency, and it is important for mental health professionals tocoordinate with a child’s family, school, and law enforcement to provideguidance and protection to that child and those around them.Some schools have programs that are implemented by the school counselorsto focus on peer victimization. “. . . School counselors might consider invitingparticipation in counseling groups that focus on fostering alliances and creatingfriendships, which buffer [children] against aggressive acts” (Blake, D’Esposito& Riccio, 2011).
Bullying & Juvenile DelinquencyWithout the efforts of positive role models and theenforcement of consequences for negativebehaviors, bullying and delinquency will prevailand society will continue its downward spiral.Change must be put into effect by action, and thetime for change is now.
REFERENCESAnonymous. 2011. Bullying; Study suggests link between childhood bullying and adult intimate partner violence perpetration. NewsRx Health & Science, 3162.Anonymous. 2011. Public Health; Pitt Study: Gay, lesbian, bisexual youth bullied, abused more often than peers. NewsRx Health & Science, 173.Anonymous. 2011. Snoring; Kids who bully, are aggressive are twice as likely to have sleep problems. NewsRx Health & Science, 351.Barrett, David; Hsu, Hsien-Yuan; Ju, Song; Katsiyannis, Antonis and Zhang, Dalun. 2011. Adolescents with Disabilities in the Juvenile Justice System: Patterns of Recidivism. Council for Exceptional Children, 77, (3), 283-298.Blake, Jamilia; D’Esposito, Susan E. and Riccio, Cynthia A. 2011. Adolescents’ Vulnerability to Peer Victimization: Interpersonal and Intrapersonal Predictors. Professional School Counseling, 14, (5), 299-309.Cummings, Anne L.; Cunningham, Alison; Leschied, Alan W.; Saunders, Angela and Michelle Van Brunschot. (2001). Aggression in adolescent girls: Implicatios for policy, prevention, and treatment. Canadian Psychology, 42, (3), 200-215.Haupt, Alison L.; Leary, Mark R. and Schreindorfer, Lisa S. 1995. The Role of Low Self-Esteem in Emotional and Behavioral Problems: Why is Low Self-Esteem Dysfunctional? Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 14, (3), 297-314.Killias, Martin and Lucia, Sonia. 2011. Is animal cruelty a marker of interpersonal violence and delinquency? Results of a Swiss National Self-Report study. Psychology of Violence, 1, (2), 93-105.Oka, Tatushi. 2009. Juvenile crime and punishment: evidence from Japan. Applied Economics, 41, 3103-3115.Wildeman, Christopher. 2010. Paternal Incarceration and Children’s Physically Aggressive Behaviors: Evidence from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study. Social Forces, 89, (1), 285-310.