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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 76432 Find in a Library
Title: Affluence and Adolescent Crime (From Readings in Comparative Criminology, P 18-43, 1981, Louise I Shelley, ed. - See NCJ-76431)
Author(s): J Toby
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 26
Sponsoring Agency: Southern Illinois University Press
Carbondale, IL 62901
Sale Source: Southern Illinois University Press
Box 3697
Carbondale, IL 62901
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The relationship between affluence and adolescent crime in developed countries is explored, with an emphasis on youths' rising expectations, lack of parental control, and the impact of education on juvenile crime.
Abstract: One factor explaining the high rate of juvenile crime (and property crimes in general) in affluent countries is the greater resentment of poverty and the expectation of a high standard of living among the populations of those countries. The mass media stimulate the desire for luxurious living and the attributes of the 'teenage culture,' so that, relative to adults, adolescents feel poverty stricken and powerless. A second factor used to explain juvenile crime is the loossening of intergenerational ties and the degeneration of parental control in developed countries. Two different mechanisms have been suggested to account for the relationship between parental inadequacy and juvenile delinquency: (1) parental rejection and neglect damage the personality of the developing child causing a rejection of authority, and (2) parental inadequacy and neglect, by reducing family control, orient the child toward delinquent peers in the neighborhood. The chief force counteracting adolescent criminality is higher education which the young population of affluent countries seeks in unprecedented numbers. There is fragmentary but consistent evidence from industrialized countries that the longer youngsters stay in school, the smaller the chances that they will commit crimes. Frequently, criminal activity is highest among juveniles who do not have or seize the opportunity alternative to poverty. Tabular data are provided.
Index Term(s): Economic influences; Education; Home environment; Israel; Japan; Juvenile delinquency factors; Media-crime relationships; Parent-Child Relations; Social classes; Social conditions; Socioculture; United States of America; Western Europe
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