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NCJ Number: 76979 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Minnesota Youth Poll - Youth's Views on Reputations and Delinquency
Author(s): D Hedin; H Wolfe; J Arneson
Corporate Author: University of Minnesota
Ctr for Youth Development and Research
United States of America
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 38
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
University of Minnesota
St Paul, MN 55108
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This issue reports a poll that explored young people's ideas and concerns about delinquency and reputations, focusing on the relationship between reputations and delinquency and specific issues about delinquency, such as status offenses, juvenile prostitution, teenage runaways, and youths' rights.
Abstract: In 1977, packets of instructions and questionnaires were mailed to 16 high schools, 2 4-H clubs, and 4 juvenile correctional facilities around the State. Approximately 900 students completed the questionaires and participated in group discussions. Data were analyzed using qualitative techniques, and 14 student groups verified the information. The responses are not quantified but are expressed in the youths' own words. All teenagers sampled believed that youths acquire bad reputations by violating laws and norms (i.e., sexual behavior, appearance, chemical use, and friendships). Teenagers with bad reputations are shunned and gossiped about by both their peers and adults. Most students felt that such young people could alter their image and that often they themselves actively seek and promote their bad reputations. Such behavior was believed to be the product of family malfunctioning, psychological problems, or labeling. In addition, most students avoided delinquents, held more favorable attitudes toward delinquents than adult offenders, felt that delinquents might outgrow or receive help for their problems, and considered parents to have a powerful influence in preventing their children from becoming delinquent. Overall, reputations appear to be enormously powerful in the lives of teenagers. One conclusion that can be drawn from the poll is that Minnesota teenagers have, for the most part, accepted and incorporated society's rules and values. In addition, enforcement of rigid social rules and norms by teenagers serves to segregate delinquent teenagers from their peers, thus decreasing the possibility that deviant youths will move away from delinquent patterns. Instructions and the questionnaire are appended, along with the results of a poll of Irish youths' attitudes about reputations and delinquency. No tables or references are included.
Index Term(s): Adolescent attitudes; Juvenile delinquency factors; Juvenile delinquency prevention; Minnesota; Peer assessment; Peer influences on behavior
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