This research paper will examine and explain the main causes of The Origins of Youth Delinquency in Child Development and the solutions to these problems. Along with explaining the biological, behavioural and psychological factors that influence children as explained through Erik Erikson stages of development. To begin this paper lets first understand the definition of what it is to be a consider a youth and how they become a youth delinquent. A juvenile delinquent is a young individual ages 12-17 years old who commits crimes repeatedly but isn’t charged or imprisoned due to their minor age and rehabilitation could be used instead.
There has been a long record of juvenile delinquency throughout our history, as early as the 1900’s, children under the age of six-teen were imprisoned along with adults who were to receive to the same punishment for committing the same crime. Now our justice system ensures juveniles are dealt with appropriately, this is done by focusing on rehabilitation by having these individuals work with their communities, schools or in their homes with their families. Rather than selecting imprisonment as their only option of punishment.
To begin, biological factors influences youth starting from before birth is where their cognitive or physical development is the most vital. Cognitive development is important for a child’s mental health and this can decrease the risk of certain birth defects in a baby’s brain. This is the first stage of Erik Erikson’s stages of child development from infancy to early childhood starting from birth to age three. Gender as well plays a huge role in the biological factor of youth delinquency because boys are more likely to get into trouble at school then girls.
As children grow up it’s important that they have access to education, a lack of this can lead youth to commit serious crime such as vandalism, theft, and drug dealing. But most children do not become serious chronic delinquents as this usually happens during phases during a youth’s life as they are going through a difficult time in their life. (Crowell et al,. 2001). The most important thing you can do to reduce or lessen the impact of biological factors causing youth delinquency is to get them involved in programs that will build good character. This can be done by having them join an extra curricular activity after school or find a hobby they enjoy.
Next is behavior, and how it causes youth delinquency, behavior is a vital factor of youth delinquency because behaviour it’s all around us and it has the potential to influence youth’s decisions. It’s our attitudes, societies attitudes, genetics and behavioural traits we receive from our parents, as well as cultural and social norms are the biggest influences on our behavior as it shapes who we become as people, whether we become leaders or follows. According to Erik Erikson and the stages of development, negative behaviour can be caused by parental drug or alcohol abuse during pregnancy, sexual or physical abuse, or not being socially developed (n.d. 2018).
Youth’s behavior can be shown as a lack of respect for the law and discipline, this is mostly learned during stages three and four; early childhood to school age, from ages 3- 12. Behavioral risk factors that have been identified to be the most impactful are family environment and the neighborhood where families live. These risk factors can lead to mistreatment of youth during childhood, as a survey done by “The Canadian Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect” found that, “In 2003 41% of child neglect coexisted with alcohol abuse, drugs or spousal abuse.” (n.d. 2018 ). One solution to youth delinquency is to promoting family togetherness, this can be difficult because each child’s family lives are different. The little things you can do however are eat dinner as a family, create traditions or find an activity the whole family enjoys.
Finally, the third factor that impacts origins of youth delinquency is psychological, these influence juvenile delinquency mostly because it is the emotional and mental state of the youth. This is change is done during adolescence, from age 12-18, which is the 5th stage of Erik Erikson’s stages of development. This can be impacted when there is a lack of parental supervision, this can make children feel unappreciated and cause them to lash out. Risk factors that can influence the way a child feels are peer pressure, lack of self control, being easily angered, and have a lack of respect for police authority. As said by the Risk & Protective Factors of Youth Delinquency “Those who lack prosocial behavior are more likely to suffer from ADHD, ADD or other mental illnesses.” (Risk & Protective Factors. n.d.).
On the social level, it can be described as peer relationships, family and their community, their community can play a risk factor in youth delinquency because of the type of negative or trouble making kids at the school. (Crowell et al,. 2001). But there are programs to prevent & reduce youth delinquency in the family environment and schools, these methods that are beneficial are parental training, family therapy and the integrating the youth into their community. Involving children in their community instead is important being it doesn’t give them the opportunity to hang around the wrong crowd or find trouble. As well, it can be easy as joining a sports team, putting your energy towards something that is physically rewarding makes youth’s feel important and that their contributions matter which is detrimental for their growth and development. (Dye, F., & Wilborn, C., 2019).
In conclusion, the origins of youth delinquency have been around for hundreds of years but the way they are punished and rehabilitated has changed greatly. These changes have been done all to help youth understand the consequences of committing crimes and the possible outcomes of continuing this behavior. As now our justice system ensures juveniles are dealt with appropriately as we now have an understanding of the Stages of Child Development that Erik Erikson have found are very important and the behavioral, biological and psychological factors all play a role in the growth and development of youth today.