juvenile-delinquency – Kaybaba

THE SOCIOLOGIST’S THINKING: ISSUE 6 – THE NATURE OF JUVENILE DELIQUENCY

The Sociologist Thinking

Did you hear of the secondary school students who sexually assaulted their female colleague in broad day light as reported by Sahara Reporters?
Do you have a younger one, who intentionally destroys your things in the name of anger?
Does he/she go around bullying or smoking and drinking in the neighborhood?
Don’t just sit back and say “what’s this world turning to”. Stand up, find explanations and seek scientific solutions to the problem JUVENILE DELIQUECY.
Juvenile delinquency is an action that violates the law but is committed by a young person under the legal age of arrest and prosecution. Haralambos simply said they are criminal acts committed by young people, he further gave examples vandalism, stealing, physical assaults, violence, joyriding and a host of others.
WHICH CHILDREN ARE LIKELY TO BE DELIQUENTS?
The World youth report of 2003, identified parental death during armed conflicts, parental alcoholism, poverty , family break down, as pull factors to delinquency, they reported that children who have suffered from any of these are likely to be delinquent than others, so you can expect massive delinquency in the North Eastern Nigeria.
Furthermore, Micheal Shader identified certain risk factors that lead to delinquency, he firstly defined risk factors as characteristics that if present in a given individual would make it possible for such a person to have a disorder. He also warned that Risk factors doesn’t mean the individual would become delinquent it is rather a pointer that if not properly handled may become delinquent.
THE RISK FACTORS
Hyper activity and restlessness
Risk taking and daring behaviors
Love for TV violence
Low IQ
Dishonesty


WHAT’S THE EXPLANATION FOR DELIQUENCY?
Trust Scholars not be asleep on this issue, there have been series of research, explanations and theories in the field, Sociologists and Criminologists have spent a great deal of time on this.
Scholars influenced by R.K Merton believes that juvenile delinquency is a result of a strain in the societal reactions toward who they are, the strain is the difference between what the people around the child wants him to be and who he is. E.g. You may want a child who excels in schools and gather A’s on his report card but in reality the child is just someone who excels on the field of play in sports. Now, he is made to see himself as a failure and a flop in life, the difference between him being a scholar as you want and him being a sports star is called strain. According to Robert Agnew, the child needs to feel successful he meets other children, who like himself are strained, (like they say: birds of the same feather flock together) they then form a delinquent subculture (a gang), in this subculture, they develop their own norms and values which are usually everything you stand against (stealing, violence, truancy, bullying, vandalism etc) since you don’t see him as successful, he does well in the delinquent subculture in order for him to earn respect and admiration from other members of the gang, thus every delinquent behavior you see at home is a result of this i.e. the bully, stealing , vandalism etc are all responses to the search for relevance and admiration, if he is not loved, he becomes feared which either way makes him happy.

WHAT THEN CAN WE DO?
Once you notice your younger one has any of the risk factors identified by Micheal Shader or have suffered any incidents identified by World Youth Report {2003} and his displaying any delinquent act or truancy.
1) Ensure a change of friends
2) Take him for who he is, let him enjoy what he loves doing
3) Reduction in the marginalization of young people (like reducing the legal age for driving)
4) Professional development programs should be set up for young people to provide an economic alternative
5) Establishment of recreational centers to provide an alternative for physical violence

The sociologist’s thinking is a bi weekly newsletter that seeks to explain and tackle social problems and phenomena that affects you from the stand points of sociology professionals and scholars. In accordance to the ethics of social research; criticisms, suggestions and encouragements are welcomed alike and if there is any social problem you have observed in your environment and you want THE SOCIOLOGIST to explain, you may reach THE SOCIOLOGIST via the under listed means

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