Essay: Juvenile delinquency

Economic and social factorsWalklate (2003, pp197) explains that juvenile delinquency is caused by the negative results of social and economic performance, specifically, economic crises, political disturbances and the weakening of key institutions such as the healthcare system, education and even the state.

Social-economic instability is usually associated with high levels of unemployment and low earnings among young people which increase the possibility of getting involved in criminal activity.Past criminal literature stressed that children from poor families or staying in poor areas, were likely to get involved in criminal activities. Experts argued that social background was essential in explaining variables for juvenile delinquent levels (Gilmore, 1990, 56). However, this observation has received a great deal of challenges because, presently, delinquency is prevalent in middle class areas as well. Accordingly, Wolfgang, Thornberry and Figlio (1987, 78) pointed out that delinquency among middle-class youths is a result of parental pressure, experimentation with substances and alcohol, peer pressure and insecurity of the future. Still, underclass theorists like Wolfgang, Thornberry and Figlio (1987, pp79) state that antisocial behaviour is entrenched within chronically poor inner-city areas, resulting in delinquency being an endemic aspect of life in these areas.

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