What is the role of society in preventing juvenile delinquency? There are various factors responsible for the development of juvenile delinquency. Similarly, there are various factors that can help prevent delinquency. For example, parents, siblings, peer group, society, and schools have their role in developing a child. These agencies can develop positive traits in the adolescent. On the other hand, if negative, these agencies can ruin an adolescent’s personality. There is a complex relationship between of all these factors. Researcher and scientists are trying to understand this relationship and its impact on the adolescent.
The problem in understanding the relationship between various factors arise due to the subjectivity of each case. Each adolescent is unique due to the situations, experiences, environment and genetics that make him/her. Regardless of this subjectivity, there are a lot of studies that can help us understand the role of society and other factors in the development of an adolescent’s personality. Positive societal influence can bring positivity in the behavior and actions of the adolescent. On the contrary, negative society can easily reap juvenile delinquency.
What makes a society?
Society is made up of people that live, work, or exist together. Religious, economic, professional, or geographic ties bind them together. Without a society a man can kill another man, another man can steal from another man. It means that society ties them together so that they respect each other. World itself is a large society as anyone living far away can impact another person living far away. This is because the world has become a global village. Smaller societies are based on ethnic, cultural, religious, or racial similarities.
Society is a strong influencer
A society is a strong force and influencer in the development of the adolescent. What makes a society so powerful in developing a child? The answer is simple yet complex to understand. Simply stated, a society includes so many factors that it exert influence from many directions. A society includes parents, peers, neighbors, siblings, relatives, school mates, and teachers. Even the place where you do groceries, shopping, and go for entertainment all make up a society. Media and internet is also part of our society and they are the most powerful components. There is so much that can influence an adolescent’s personality in the society. As a result, the society can ruin or build an adolescent.
Role of media
In the modern world, the strongest force in a society is media. Media especially, the internet has made the world a global village. An adolescent can watch all sort of videos that contain some sort of violence, criminal activities, drug use, and gender abuse. The ease to access such violent material make it risky for the adolescents. In recent years, several studies reported that Low self esteem and depression are common cause of watching negative material on the screen. As a result of low self esteem and depression adolescent suicidal rate has been increased. The use of drugs and smoking is also a result of open promotion by the media.
Role of peers
Peers are another strong factor in our society that can shape an adolescent’s behavior. Peers can belong from the school, neighborhood, or other after school groups. Every teen want to exhibit a behavior that is acceptable in the peer group. Especially, some adolescents are highly inclined towards their friends. These kind of teens want to mimic their friends’ behavior. This makes it very important that a child is surrounded by positive peer group. For example, caring, civil, and positive-nature peer can shape an adolescent into a good citizen. It is also important to develop good moral and ethical values in the child from early childhood. This makes it easier for the adolescents to stay away from negative peer influence.
Role of schools
Schools have a big responsibility to play a positive role in the development of an adolescent. The school authorities need to meet the needs of each child and provide a positive environment to groom. Unfortunately, some schools are the place where the drug and drinking culture promotes. These kind of schools have groups and cliques that could be dangerous for adolescents. These gangs know how to grow their group and healthy positive adolescents are easy victim.
School counselors and teachers should work collaboratively to bring new idea that can help prevent delinquency. Parents also have a responsibility to watch for any negative influence that a child is conceiving from school. Similarly, parents should teach their children how to combat negative influence in school. Living in a good neighborhood is a good way to avoid negative school environments.
Bullying is also something that is common in schools. Teachers and parents can work together to stop bully culture. They can teach the kids how to deal with it constructively.
Society and juvenile delinquency
What kind of juvenile crimes are the product of a bad society? It is important to know about them. They need our attention because we make up our society. We can make a conducive environment where we can prevent these crimes. It is far more difficult to treat a criminal, especially when a society starts reaping juvenile delinquency.
Sexual assault and adultery
One study suggests that the unwholesome material that adolescents watch during their leisure time is highly responsible for the sexual crimes. Sexual assault and other sexual crimes have increased over time. The open portrayal of sexual material through media bring frustration in the youth.
The social and emotional development of the adolescent highly impacts the way he/she treats other people. It also effects how the adolescent will react in situations of debate, fight, and conflicts. Sometimes small conflicts become a reason for severe physical harm.
Murder, rape, hurting, or other physical assault are major juvenile crimes in our society. It is not a good idea to label an adolescent as a criminal even after he has served the punishment. Labeling can make an adolescent permanently delinquent. Some adolescents try to do good but their previous crimes stay labeled to them. Adolescents become aggressive and deviant due to labeling by the society.
Drugs and alcohol use
The most common reason reported for the drug use is to gain acceptance in the group. Similar is the case with the use of alcohol and smoking. The person who smokes, drinks, or uses drugs become addict because it gives pleasure. Later on, it becomes difficult to stop this habit for many reasons. One reason is that the adolescents feel fear that they will get rejection from their peers. Another reason is that the drug reacts with the neurochemistry of brain and it is difficult to live without drugs anymore. The competitive factor of the society is also a big reason for the use of narcotics etc. People feel happy and free of fears for a while when they take drugs.
Whatever is the reason for taking drugs, once an adolescent get into the habit of taking drugs it is difficult to stop it. A proper medical treatment is necessary to get out of the habit. Prevention is the only key to keep adolescents safe from drugs and alcohol.
Bullying is common in schools so does the recent trends of cyber bullying. Cyber bullying is promoted through cell phones, tablets and computers. Adolescents send threatening, embarrassing, or abusive messages to other adolescents. This can lead to severe issues like low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, and even sometimes suicide. Teachers and parents can keep an eye on the bully in schools but it is far more difficult to deal with cyber bullies.
Stealing and robbery
The financial problems often cause a youth to indulge in stealing and robbery. Some youth do stealing just to become part of a group regardless of a need for money.
It is evident that we cannot segregate society from juvenile delinquency. A healthy society can prevent juvenile delinquency. While, poor societies are a hub for juvenile crimes. Once a society develops juvenile delinquency culture it is difficult to eradicate it. Because the seeds of juvenile crimes grow as the juvenile becomes an adult.
- Shaffer, H. B. (July, 1955). Bad influences on youth. CQ Researcher. Sage Publications.
- “Why do adolescents take drugs?”. National Institute of Drug Abuse.
- Garling, A. (Nov. 2015). “Adolescents and society”.