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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 70269 Find in a Library
Title: On the Biology of Juvenile Delinquency - Comments on the Essay by Felton Earls - 'The Social Reconstruction of Adolescence - Towards an Explanation for Increasing Rates of Violence in Youth'
Journal: Perspectives in Biology and Medicine  Issue:2  Dated:(Winter 1980)  Pages:179-188
Author(s): H Krebs
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 10
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Felton Earls's emphasis on the social reconstruction of adolescence and the social approach to explanations of juvenile delinquency is criticized for neglecting the importance of medical and biological aspects and an interdisciplinary approach.
Abstract: The deterioration of adolescent behavior cannot be blamed on material deprivation, given the increasing affluency of both British and U.S. societies, or on genetic causes (as vandalism and mugging were virtually nonexistent in Britain 25 years ago). Environmental factors may have been the effects of three major changes in relationships--between child and parent, between pupil and teacher, and between citizen and society--which have resulted in pampering and spoiling of the child. Modern parents fail to provide children with an environment in which they will learn to cope with life, will be keen to try new experiences, and will respect the limits imposed by society. The educational system no longer provides children with an environment in which they will learn to concentrate on and enjoy their studies, respect authority, and adapt themselves to changing circumstances. Society pampers and spoils its citizens by luring them from self-reliance and independence by providing welfare payments instead of jobs and the opportunity for further education in skills, knowledge, and citizenship. Children who have been raised in a nonresponsible and uncurious environment can become neurotic, develop psychosomatic illnesses, or become criminal. Prevention through education of parents and teachers and preventive therapy such as American Big Brothers or Big Sisters programs can stop the development of criminal tendencies. Curing the continuously increasing criminality must be recognized as an interdisciplinary exercise, with the need for collaboration among scientists, biomedical specialists, the legislature, academics, and sociologists. Fifteen references are provided.
Index Term(s): Biological influences; Home environment; Juvenile delinquency factors; Juvenile delinquency prevention; Medicolegal considerations; Parent-Child Relations; School delinquency programs; Social conditions
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