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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 74161 Find in a Library
Title: Delinquent Youth in the Rural Area (From Juvenile Justice on Rural America, P 84-91, 1980, Joanne Jankovic et al, ed. - See NCJ-74156)
Author(s): S Dahl
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 8
Sponsoring Agency: Superintendent of Documents, GPO
Washington, DC 20402
Sale Source: Superintendent of Documents, GPO
Washington, DC 20402
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Waushara County, Wis., is analyzed for factors contributing to the delinquent behavior of rural youths; suggestions are made for social workers to encourage the community, school, and family to help the youths.
Abstract: The Waushara County Department of Social Services provides services to the youth who come within the jurisdiction of the County Juvenile Court System. The experience of this agency indicates that the causes of delinquency such as family or school problems, and identity crises of growing up are shared by urban and rural youth. However, certain factors aggravate the problems in rural areas. Troubled youths are much more visible in a rural town are much more visible than they are in an Urban setting; as a result, the youths are often subjected to community hostility and harassment. Parents more often lack an understanding of their child's behavior, and this can strain family relations. School systems in rural areas lack resources and trained personnel, and the labeling of 'troublemakers' eventually forces children out of the school system. The lack of understanding of the causes of delinquency on the part of the community, the school, and the family, and the lack of resources in the rural areas affects social workers who deliver services to rural youth. They receive limited cooperation from the community regarding shelter, foster care, job placement, and family counseling. Social workers should assume an advocacy role in the community on behalf of their clients to furthers awareness of the youth's needs and feelings. They should arrange meetings among county officials and community professionals to identify specific causes of deviant behavior and to develop preventive strategies. Statistical data concerning the Waushara County Department of Social Services and footnotes containing references are included.
Index Term(s): Juvenile delinquency factors; Labeling theory; Public Attitudes/Opinion; Rural urban comparisons; Wisconsin
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