The Role of Family in Preventing Juvenile Delinquency and Behavioural Patterns of Children

In the development of children, family plays a very critical role in determining the behavior of the young ones as they continue to develop. Family environment can be a risk or protective factor in the prevalence of juvenile delinquency. A peril factor exposes kids or promotes adoption of ill manners by the kids in the society. High exposure to these elements may increase the chances of minors engaging themselves in illegal acts. Juveniles exposed to aspects that promote illegality may grow to be problematic in the community since they may commit delinquents repeatedly (Juby and David 17).

Vulnerable families in most instances are not able to raise youngsters who stick to rules established. A stable family in various facets serves to shield broods from external dynamics that may contribute to the assumption of harmful behaviors (McCord 5). A child raised in a peaceful environment where violence is not tolerated rarely turn to become a violent person. In the same spirit, a child raised in insecure environs where vehemence is the order of the day is not likely to be gentle, as they believe that violence is the only way to earning respect.

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This research paper explores how family instability contributes to juvenile delinquency. Household unsteadiness directly promotes bad behavior in children.

The society usually blames parents of kids who portray bad behaviors for being bad custodians. Numerous parents are irresponsible and depict ineffective parental behavior. Children especially in their adolescent need to be supervised on their doings. A parent or guardian should oversee how and whom their young ones relate with, in the community.

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Over permissiveness on the side of a parent, contribute to increased chances of minors committing delinquents (Loeber and Magda 33). Teenagers have a high need for identity and sense of belonging that if not provided by parents may lead them to wrong companies or substance use. Parents ought to be consistent and averagely strict in disciplining their young ones but at the same time show the strong bond of affection. Most juveniles claim to have had experiences of rejection in the family and that their caretakers hate them. If parents adopt ineffective parenting styles, the stability of the family is usually at stake. Youngsters feel that they are not appreciated in the family while parents may find the kids as a burden. Childrearing style, therefore, plays a critical role in establishing good behavior in teens as well as the stability in the family.

Families, where one or both parents expose criminality in most cases, raise children with high chances of committing delinquents. A parent for example who do illegal business like selling drugs spends very little time molding the behavior of their kids. Teenagers are quick learners by observation, and since no one believes that a caregiver can be wrong, they are most likely to copy behaviors of the parent (McCord 11). An adolescent boy imitates his father or guardian to feel the sense of identity (Harper and Sara 7). The same attributes can explain why most children raised by drug abusers end up abusing drugs too. Teenagers more adopt actions of a parent than oral advice that may be given by the same caretakers or other responsible adults in the society. The problem is more critical to younger kids when the older broods start engaging themselves in criminal activities. A child in such a family may grow with a mental status that approves criminality as a way of life. Such a family is often volatile since parents have no time for their kids and the level of suspicion is very high. Legal suits are numerous, and nobody cares about what should be done as far as the law is concerned. Guiding kids raised in such a family intending to change their behavior is not easy and contribute to the rising juvenile delinquency.

Conflicts and all forms of domestic violence promote delinquency. Families, where parents are frequently involved in physical exchange as a way of solving issues, encourage violent behavior in kids (Loeber and Magda 8). Children learn that the best way of resolving differences is by using violence. Studies have shown that more than a half of juveniles who act violently were raised in families where either father or mother used to respond aggressively whenever provoked. Peace is essential in a family for integration to prevail and where there is violence, peace cannot exist. The instability in such a family is very fragile, and children are likely to get involved in illegal activities while seeking calmness. Domestic violence lowers the self-esteem of teens in the family. In an attempt to boost their esteem, teenagers may engage in drug abuse or join criminal groups. They become more exposed to factors that may cause them to develop into serial offenders. Youngsters raised in a family characterized by frequent conflicts tend to believe that for others to respect and listen to their opinion that they have to bully them. They then are more likely to commit felonious acts owing to the instability of the family. Parents should find ways of resolving their disagreements peacefully for their young ones to emulate.

The level of childhood mistreatment in a family and exposure to abuse contribute to the increment in juvenile delinquency cases. Individuals who develop deviating behavior in most instances have a history of physical or psychological abuse. Some parents mistreat their children or even cause bodily harm to them. Most of the brood caregivers beat their children causing physical injuries in the name of disciplining them. Minors are very sensitive, and such provocations take years to heal and may lead them to commit illegalities (McCord 29). Strict discipline to children does not guarantee that the children cannot get involved in illegal manners. Guardians need to be very careful when instilling good behavior on their children lest they grow to be more ill-disciplined. A minor who is a victim of violence within the family realm has high chances of wrongdoing. Caregivers, therefore, should ensure that teenagers are safe in the family and environs and not adopt the harsh disciplining strategy. Sexual abuse, primarily by a relative who had been trusted by the child, affects them psychologically making them lose a sense of humanity. Numerous juvenile who get involved in crimes like illegal drug use or prostitution has been subject to various forms of abuse in their past. Families that are mostly affected by the inability to guarantee shield for young ones are mostly very unstable.

Children raised in broken homes are more likely to commit delinquency. Divorces are on the rise in the recent past years. The breakdown in marriage contribute to most cases of addiction to drugs and indirectly lead to crime (Juby and David 12). Integrated family adds to the high level of achievement in education, job, and even life expectancy. A united family yields numerous benefits to the society, but a broken one is a price that everyone in the community pays the price for. Studies have shown that more than a half of offenders come from broken homes (McCord 19). Separation of parents causes a lot of psychological harm to children since they have divided loyalty. Kids are the most affected by parting of parents because of any reason. Many of affected minors may develop lousy behavior trying to seek the peace of mind. Teenagers feel like they are to blame for separation of parents and have a high sense of guilt. One grows up thinking that they are not good enough to earn positive recognition by the society as good people. They consequently behave differently believing they are unique from other youngsters raised in integrated families. A person grows believing that their course and destiny is different from everyone else, that the world is unfair to them. Since what a person think from an early age determine the kind of a person they become, they become insensitive to social order and lawbreaking becomes an order of the day.

Households with unpredictable and low income have high cases of juvenile delinquency. Needy families are incapable of meeting all needs of children. Kids from such a background may go for days without food and dress tattered clothes. One naturally is created with survival instincts that can lead them to crime to meet their primary needs. Juveniles in most cases are forced by circumstances to commit crimes (Loeber and Magda 36). Nobody can wait to die while as they can undertake a minor offense and become stable. Any individual living in extreme poverty dreams of achieving financial stability as fast as possible. Kids in such a situation seek opportunities daily that can guarantee their own and family financial freedom. The vulnerability to achieve economic success by youths makes them get involved in crime. Financial stability in a family makes it possible for everyone to meet their basic needs. Teenagers from such a family feel guaranteed that the future is stable and that they do not have to get involved in the felony to live better lives. Nobody wishes to live a life where he or she does not know what awaits them in future. Income determines the level of stability in a family and ultimately, the behavior of juveniles.

Single parenthood for whatever reason has been ascertained to contribute to the increase in juvenile delinquency. Progenies from single-parent families are more expected to possess bad behaviors as opposed to the ones from two-parent families. Mother, only families, are very many in the contemporary world and have been attributed to the increase in the number of youth folks involved in crimes (Harper and Sara 23). Children raised by one parent feel that they are not in the appropriate family as they could wish. They suffer from losing a sense of belonging and blurred identity. The feeling that they do not belong the same way other kids in united families feel make many teenagers joins criminal gangs. It is not easy for a mother raising a son singlehandedly to rare him through teenage without getting involved in delinquency and the same spirit; a father rarely raises a daughter who is morally upright. The absence of any parent for whatsoever reason causes an increase in juvenile crime, substance abuse, and depression in some instances. Two parents with unity and love are very vital in creating a responsible and law-abiding child.

On the other hand, not everyone is convinced that juvenile delinquency is connected to family instability. Some people believe that stability of the family contributes negligibly in producing responsible juvenile as far as the law is concerned. Children learn mostly not from within the families they are born or raised in but from the surrounding community (Sampson, Stephen, and Felton 25). The argument is based on the claim that there are children raised in very stable families who develop deviating behavior than what they have been raised in by their parents. Teenagers learn what is right or wrong from the society and even if their parents do not promote that, they are determined to be better than their parents are. Willpower to make a better parent and families in the future shields many kids from engaging themselves in juvenile crimes. Broods raised by single parents have a high level of loyalty to them and do everything right to please them. It is tough to find a child raised by single parents deviating from instructions given to them by their parent. We cannot generalize the few cases where children from single-parent families commit delinquency to mean that it is as a result of being raised by a lone parent. Claiming that family instability does not contribute to delinquency among teens is however weak and proven by many researchers to be wrong.

In conclusion, children from unstable families are more likely to commit crimes than the ones raised in stable families. There is a need for a family to set enough time to spend together especially when children are at their young age, and this can go a long way in shielding them from criminal behavior. The government can regulate other reasons like income instability by ensuring that the problem of unemployment is solved. The society should come to the aid of the children who are struggling to meet their basic needs to prevent them from engaging in a felony. Parents should also get educated on the need to have only a few children who they can manage to provide for without many strains. Promoting family stability can be very useful in controlling juvenile delinquency.

Updated: Feb 02, 2024
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The Role of Family in Preventing Juvenile Delinquency and Behavioural Patterns of Children. (2024, Feb 07). Retrieved from

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