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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 134938 Find in a Library
Title: Explanations of Delinquency: Structure, Culture, and Interaction (From Delinquency and Youth Crime, Second Edition, P 211-260, 1992, Gary F Jensen and Dean G Rojek - See NCJ-134932)
Author(s): G F Jensen; D G Rojek
Date Published: 1992
Page Count: 50
Sponsoring Agency: Waveland Press, Inc.
Long Grove, IL 60047
Sale Source: Waveland Press, Inc.
4180 IL Route 83
Suite 101
Long Grove, IL 60047
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Theories developed by sociologists to explain the distribution of juvenile delinquency and research conducted to test such theories are outlined.
Abstract: The various theoretical approaches are distinct from psychological or biological perspectives when treating juvenile delinquency as a category, as a distinctive subcultural orientation, or as a characteristic of neighborhoods and communities. Moreover, years of research have shown juvenile delinquency is an eminently sociological subject in that it is generally a social activity. The fact that most juvenile delinquency occurs among young people interacting with other young people has been established in numerous studies and is true for both boys and girls in a variety of settings. The juvenile delinquency theories assume that juvenile delinquency is acquired or learned behavior and that the probability such behavior will be acquired varies depending on cultural patterns, social institutions and groups, and the structure of legal and illegal opportunities. Various sociological theories are characterized by a variety of ideas about the exact nature and relative importance of environmental circumstances. Three theories that differ sufficiently to be considered unique schools of thought are social disorganization-social control theory, structural strain- status frustration theory, and normative conflict-differential association theory. Other theories have been proposed that reformulate or combine ideas from these three theories. The authors suggest further progress in the explanation of juvenile delinquency is likely to require that more attention be paid to the relevance of certain variables at different times in history, different groups and settings, different types of offenses, and group as opposed to individual delinquent activities. 112 references and 1 figure
Main Term(s): Juvenile delinquency theory
Index Term(s): Biological influences; Crime causes theory; Differential Opportunity Theory; Environmental influences; Juvenile delinquency; Juvenile delinquency factors; Juvenile delinquency research; Juvenile delinquents; Juvenile offenders; Psychological influences on crime; Social control theory; Social organization; Sociological analyses; Strain theory
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