The relationship between parenting and juvenile crime

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Juvenile delinquency entails the major or minor breaking or law by individuals who are under the age of eighteen. Rather than being put in prisons or correctional centers, juvenile delinquents are kept in juvenile detention centers. Delinquency can be classified into different trajectories, based on the seriousness of the issue. These different trajectories include minor persisting, a nondelinquent, moderate desisting, serious persisting and serious desisting trajectory. In every study conducted (Baglivio, Wolff, Piquero & Epps, 2015). Juvenile delinquency is linked to drug sales and violence. The cause of Juvenile delinquency is contributed by several factors. The Family of the child is the major cause of the delinquent behavior. Parenting plays a vital role in the involvement of the kids to engage in violent and delinquent behaviors. The lack of proper parental involvement and interaction and indifferent parenting styles increases the risk for violence, especially among the male juveniles.   Studies indicate that poor and weak bonding between the parent and the child is a key determinant of juvenile offending or delinquency and contribute to adult offending. The child brought up by authoritarian and indifferent parents are in most cases associated with drug use and behavioral problems (Baglivio et al., 2015). With this regard, this paper will discuss and focus on the relationship between parenting and juvenile crime.

The Role of Parenting styles in Delinquency

The environment the children are exposed holds an enormous influence on how they act and behave. Kids are easily influenced by the surrounding environment, and they depend on their parents and guardians for guidance.  The children’s behaviors result from those of their parents and peer influence. The parents and guardians play an essential role in influencing their kids’ life. It is therefore up to them to ensure that they lead their children in the right direction. Parenting factors attribute to the risk of developing delinquent behaviors in kids (Baglivio et al., 2015). The authoritarian and indifferent parents have a link with negative outcomes in kids, especially the indifferent style of parenting. Research indicates that children brought up by indifferent parents posses worst outcomes on some problem behaviors and drug use (Thompson & Bynum, 2016). Findings also show that lack of parental presence in the indifferent parenting environment has its adverse impacts on kid’s development. It is believed that the lack of parenting presences is the major reason why American youths or juveniles get involved in violence and drug use.

Moreover, children experiencing an authoritarian style of parenting rely on eternal influence and controls rather than self-regulation, which is dangerous. This is because the imposition from the external factors can increase the likelihood that children will be rebellious and become delinquent. Lack of parental discipline is another source of risk for delinquent behavior.   Disciplining children and applying the right parenting styles points to the significant predictors of the positive behavioral outcomes in children. 46% of parents with children experiencing juvenile delinquency identified most closely with the authoritarian style of parenting (Baglivio et al., 2015).

In cases where a parent is incarcerated, juvenile delinquency can arise. This is because children are affected emotionally, behaviorally and psychologically having their parents in prison (Baglivio et al., 2015). The child emotions and behaviors will be affected because the parents are not prevalent in their life. The child, therefore, acts because of frustration and emotional pain. Those children with incarcerated parents lack the assistance of parental figures. Juvenile delinquency also can be influenced by the nature of household. This could be single parenting or two-parent household.  The prediction of teen delinquency in early childhood depends entirely on the nature of maternal parenting skills imposed upon the kid during early stages of adolescence. Juvenile delinquency shows a real relationship between delinquent criminal behavior and the single parent families. Single parenting, particular mother-only families produce kids who are more delinquent than two-parent families.  In most cases, concentration is taken off the mother and shifted towards the father.

The lack of emphasis on the role of fathering in childhood is unfortunate and brings the problem to the kid given that it’s vital that a father figure is presented in the Child’s upbringing to initiate and discipline the kids (Thompson & Bynum, 2016). An example is a case whereby a father in most cases involves the male s children who are at high risk of becoming delinquent. It can be therefore contended that the absence of a father figure in a child’s life is one of the most vital causes related to the kid becoming delinquent and rebellious. Problems such as aggression, juvenile crimes, depression, eating disorders and substance abuse can be caused by the fact that the child lacks a father. Proper parenting is essential in development if child behaviors. Parenthood involving both a father and a mother has increased supervision and surveillance of the children which helps in regulating the kid’s behavior (Thompson & Bynum, 2016). It can, therefore, be agreed that parents play a vital role in creating law-abiding kids.  The absence of the parents can make the child develop negative behaviors will only send them to Juvenile correctional centers.

Juvenile Delinquency Consequences

The family is the most vital socializing forces in the human life. The family teaches kids to control unacceptable behavior and respect others. However, families can impact the life a child negatively resulting in negative behaviors. The family can make a child become antisocial, aggressive and have violent behaviors. Parents can make the juvenile delinquent.  Juvenile delinquency can have great negative effects on the life course of the children. It may cause children failing in schools, incarceration and weak bond to the families. The child, in turn, increases the chance of becoming a criminal in their adult life. When the juvenile delinquent reaches adulthood without undergoing expected reformations resulting from the detention in correctional centers, the child becomes a repeat offender (Baglivio et al., 2015). This factor can make the child risk going through the criminal justice system as an adult offender. Increased depression and anxiety on the offender is another adverse effect of juvenile delinquency. Research shows high rates of mental disorders among youths involved with the juvenile system of justice (Thompson & Bynum, 2016). The speed of internalizing disorders such as depression and anxiety ranges from eleven percent to thirty-three percent across studies of detained adolescents.

Juvenile Delinquency Prevention

Juvenile delinquency as discussed earlier is connected to indifferent and authoritarian parenting styles. Indifferent parents are characterized by neglectful behavior. The kid receives little direction and support.  On the other hand, authoritarian parenting styles entail a high degree of demand given by the parents. Particularly, if an individual would attempt to prevent delinquency among kids, then focusing on elevated levels of support and demand would be felicitous. Children experiencing juvenile delinquency should be taken to therapists for assistance (Shoemaker, 2017). Elevated levels of emotional support and parental involvement would be vital. A parent should discipline their children when they do mistakes or talk to them. The children can also be taken to therapists or psychologist for some counseling. Parents should not neglect their duties to trim the behaviors of the children for a better future.


Juvenile Delinquency is a problem that is growing in the United States.  It’s reported that 80% of adolescents in the United States acknowledge of committing one or more act of delinquency for which they would have been arrested but for some reason were not (Shoemaker, 2017). As much as the delinquency cases are increasing, it is noted that the nature of the offenses is becoming more violent. Juvenile delinquency is becoming widespread in the United States. For that reason, it’s important to study it and assesses some of the possible causes of the behavior and how to go about it. Juvenile delinquency entails committing minor or major crimes by the youth under the age of eighteen (Thompson & Bynum, 2016). Some of the major crimes committed by juveniles ate murder, rape, robbery, and theft. Minor crime s entails misdemeanors and status offenses. Those offenses associated with status are illegal because of age. They include truancy and underage drinking.  Juveniles are mostly arrested for committing minor offenses.

Research indicates that in 1990, sixty-two percent of juvenile arrests were for the misdemeanor rather than serious crimes (Shoemaker, 2017).  Eighteen percent of the sixty percent were arrested for status offenses which entailed curfew violations, running away and liquor law violation. Sixteen percent accounted for vandalism, drunkenness, disorderly conducts and some minor violations of drug laws. It can, therefore, be agreed that parents play a vital role in creating law-abiding kids.  The absence of the parents can make the child develop negative behaviors will only send them to Juvenile correctional centers.  High levels of emotions support and parental involvement would be vital (Thompson & Bynum, 2016). A parent should discipline their children when they do mistakes or talk to them. The children can also be taken to therapists or psychologist for some counseling. Parents should not neglect their duties to trim the behaviors of the children for a better future.

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  1. Baglivio, M. T., Wolff, K. T., Piquero, A. R., & Epps, N. (2015). The relationship between adverse childhood experiences (ACE) and juvenile offending trajectories in a juvenile offender sample. Journal of Criminal Justice43(3), 229-241.
  2. Shoemaker, D. J. (2017). Juvenile delinquency. Rowman & Littlefield.
  3. Thompson, W. E., & Bynum, J. E. (2016). Juvenile delinquency: A sociological approach. Rowman & Littlefield.
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