Learning Team A for Juvenile Justice (CJA 400) -- Family and Juvenile Delinquency Presentation. Team A consists of: Rebecca Benton, Dianna Kirkland, Diane Russo, Raquel Wells and Consuelo Whitford. Submitted to Troy Rawlings on October 9, 2005.
Family plays a large role in juvenile delinquency. A family is where you learn the morals and values that one should maintain for their lifetime and pass along to future generations. Most children do not grow up in the traditional “American Family” anymore. The traditional American family is one where the male is the breadwinner/provider of the family and the female is the housewife, mom and caretaker of the house. Currently, about three-quarters of all mothers who have school-age children are employed outside of the home. Nowadays, the male is not necessarily the breadwinner/provider of the family. The statistics of children living with both parents have declined from 90% to 74%. We believe that the number will continue to decline because there are more single parents raising their child or children.
There are a number of family circumstances that contribute to negative behavior in children. When the number of family problems increase, the risk factors increase. Their normal development is impeded. Families can be broken up for a number of reasons. The children whose families are disrupted by spousal conflict or breakup are more likely to have behavioral problems and show hyperactivity. Broken families often lead to poverty. Poverty can cause low self-esteem, depression, and loneliness which can all lead to juvenile delinquency. A child may have to live in a different neighborhood and attend a different school after a divorce.
Children from divorced families tend to have a lack of supervision because the parent that they live with cannot be with them 24/7. The parent most likely works to provide for the child. There is a weakened attachment to family and they look for acceptance, love and guidance from others. These children are susceptible to peer pressure because they are looking for something solid in their lives. These children are more likely to fall prey to delinquency then those children living in a two parent household.
Blended families are two single parents with children and combining to make one family. Blended families are less stable, conflict may arise between the step-parent and step-sibling(s), a stepchild may feel neglected or have feelings of rejection and jealousy. More and more children are feeling the effects of blended families not only once during their childhood, but multiple times.
Behavior stubbornness, defiant, avoidance of authority figures, run away, truant, stay out late. Then it moves on to things like; shoplifting, lying, stealing, damaging property, then to more serious delinquent acts; fraud, theft, and burglary. When they become aggressive; they bully, tease, physical fighting, physical attacks, rape, assault and battery.
Family history plays a role as well; poor socialization practices, poor supervision skills, poor discipline skills, poor parent/child relationships, excessive family conflict and marital discord, family disorganization, poor parental mental health, family isolation, differential family acculturation.
If we want to stop juvenile delinquency we must start with family. Parents must be taught it is not ok to be deviant, abusive, or neglectful. The community can try and stop delinquency or become their victims.
As the family often times is busy with work they are unable to monitor and supervise properly. We must find a way to allow families to protect and provide for their children at the same time.
Abstract• Family plays a large role in juvenile delinquency. When there is a malfunction in the family unit, delinquency seems to be inevitable. This presentation discusses the family problems and solutions to juvenile delinquency.
Family Causes Delinquency• Families disrupted by spousal conflict, breakup or broken homes• Families involved in interpersonal conflict• Negligent parents• Families with deviant parents
Breakup of Family & Relation to Delinquency• Associated with conflict, hostility, and aggression• Lack of supervision• Weakened attachment• Susceptibility to peer pressure
Blended Families• Less stable• Conflict• Neglect• Feelings of rejection and jealousy
Family Conflict• Emotional disturbance• Behavior problems• Feel aggression pays off• Repeat the cycle• Feelings of neglect• Children display high levels of hostile detachment
Parental Deviance• Powerful influence on delinquent behavior• Disrupts family role as an agent of social control• Close relationships are not formed• Children learn what they live• Quality of family life is poor• These parents use harsh and inconsistent discipline
Solutions• Community centers• Family counseling• Crack down on parents who commit crime• Offer guidance at schools
Major Types of Protective Family Factors• Supportive parent-child relationships• Positive discipline methods• Monitoring and supervision• Family advocacy for their children• Seeking information and support for the benefit of their children.
Conclusions• The probability of a youth developing developmental problems increases rapidly as the number of risks increase in comparison to the number of protective factors.• The objective of family-focused prevention programs should be to not only decrease risk factors, but to also increase the ongoing family protective family protective mechanisms.
References• Siegel, Larry J., Juvenile Delinquency: The Core. Copyright 2002, Wadsworth, a Thomson Imprint