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Theories Into The Cause Of Juvenile Delinquency

Essay, Research Paper Can more than one theory be used to explain crime? Absolutely. From a liberal viewpoint, there exist two fundamental theories to explain the causal factors behind juvenile delinquency. Those theories are Social Deviance Theory and Developmental Theory. Young people become socially deviant by non-conforming.

Essay, Research Paper

Can more than one theory be used to explain crime? Absolutely. From a liberal viewpoint, there exist two fundamental theories to explain the causal factors behind juvenile delinquency. Those theories are Social Deviance Theory and Developmental Theory. Young people become socially deviant by non-conforming. They become juvenile delinquents, and turn against the very system that is trying to help them. Society has made many laws and many standards have been set. The social deviant does not follow those rules and regulations. He/she lives a life of crime instead. An overview of approaches explains deviant behavior.

Social Deviance Theory can be further broken down into five theories including anomie, differential association, social control theory, conflict theory, and labeling theory. Social Deviance Theory is an important explanation in the theory of crime. Without this explanation, it would be impossible to explain a great deal of the factors involved in juvenile delinquency.

Social Deviance Theory and Development Theories are the umbrellas under which other theories used to explain juvenile delinquency fall. Depending on the criminal and the type of crime committed, different theories are used. Social Deviance is acting against the norms of society. Development Theory deals with the manner in which a child develops into adulthood. This includes any insults or trauma, the individual’s behavioral response, problems in school, problems in society, etc. When a child experiences trauma that child may act out. this acting out for attention can easily become delinquent behavior.

Developmental Theory is not the only theory that explains crime. Social Deviance Theory is another theory that can explain crime, of which juvenile delinquency is a type. According to Hoffman, et al, (1997), R. K. Merton had certain psychological theories about crime and criminal behavior. In fact, “Merton recognized that a conceptional framework was needed to better explain social deviance and criminality” (180). Anomie is one kind of social deviance. Anomie represents social instability. The person’s standards and values are broken or non-existent (Hoffman, et al, 1997). It is not surprising that many young people today have broken or non-existent standards. Both parents work, or there is only one parent.

Some crime can be explained by developmental theory. Female delinquency is one that can. According to empirical research, interpersonal problems cause subjective strain or a response of distress. The literature concerning development points to the adolescent period as the time in which this behavior is particularly strong. Adolescents lack the skills that adults have available, such as coping skills, social supports, and coping resources. Males are not as concerned with interpersonal goals as females are. This points to the evidence that relational or interpersonal problems are more likely to lead to female deviance. This type of deviance manifests in delinquency (Agnew & Brezina, 1997). Many young people see themselves as mature, however, they are simply not mature enough for their coping mechanisms to have properly developed. This leads to problems.

According to Thoits (1995), sociologists spend a great deal of time attempting to explain the deviant behavior of juvenile delinquency. Their etiological theories have generated extensive research in the areas of anomie theory, conflict theory, control theory, differential association/learning theory, and labeling theory, which are forms of Social Deviance Theory. Sociologists have used the research of such psychologists as Asch (1955), Cartwright (1968), Milgram (1969), and Sherif (1988) (Thoits, 1995, PG). Social Deviance Theory is used as a gauge in the studies of juvenile delinquency. There has to be some kind of devise for measuring social structure. This is believable from a liberal point of view. Without the cumulative work of both sociologists and psychologists, very little would have been done with regard to finding the causative factors for juvenile delinquency.

Sampson and Laub (1993) posit that a better understanding needs to be made of the social forces involved in creating the juvenile delinquent. Empirical evidence was studied utilizing in excess of 200 counties in the United States in the structural context of conflict theory, which is a type of Social Deviance Theory, and its ideas concerning juvenile delinquency (285-311). There was found racial inequality and poverty (Sampson & Laub, 1993). Any liberal can understand that racial inequality and poverty would lead to conflict.

Leiber and Stairs (1999) said that a form of Sampson and Laub’s conflict perspective was used in three Iowa juvenile courts in order to comprehend the racial influence on decision-making within the criminal justice system. Emphasis was placed on punishment, racial stereotyping, and structural contingencies. It was found that in an area where there is a large amount of racial and economic inequality along with employees in the system that are racially different and a proponent of that race, that greater social control would be placed on minorities, especially those that have been charged with drug related crimes. Leiber and Stairs (1999) find that there is a need for broadening the scope of this research. Many research methodologies should be utilized. Conflict theory, a type of Social Deviance Theory, should be refined, according to Leiber & Stairs (1999). Conflict theory has a great deal to do with “punishment, racial stereotyping, and structural contingencies” (Leiber & Stairs, 1999, 56). Liberals disagree with racial stereotyping. One must ask whether minorities are punished more severely than others are.

Frazier and his colleagues (1992) suggest that those supporting traditional conflict theory find that minorities get harsher treatment by the criminal justice system. This is purportedly because they lack both the resources and the power to make sure that their treatment is equal to others. Hawkins pointed to a revision of this paradigm. In this instance, minorities are given qualities that are harsher when another groups control is threatened in a social situation. Data was obtained from 32 counties in Florida in order to study the competing models (447). They found the result consistent with the traditional conflict theory, which is a type of Social Deviance Theory, where there is a higher proportion of whites in the area (Frazier, et al, 1992). The minority juvenile offender has always had conflicts and will continue to do so in the system because of the way in which the system is set up. Minorities are not the only ones who have conflicts, however. There are a great many people living from hand to mouth in this country today. The American Dream for some is just to put food on their tables.

It has been shown that youths in America and Canada have more delinquency than those in China do. Wong (1997) suggests that this is because the Chinese culture puts an emphasis on positive influences. A study was done comparing adolescents in Canada with those in China using the three perspectives of “opportunity, control, and intergeneration conflict theories” (112). It was found that connection to the culture in China was able to reduce the potential for involvement in delinquency. Opportunity and control theories had no findings in these results. However, it was found that when one becomes acculturated, there is a chance of increasing delinquency, particularly if their parents were not acculturated. This would suggest a discontinuity between the generations that is widened by acculturation. Because of this, the official conclusion is that intergenerational conflict theory, a type of Social Deviance Theory, is supported (Wong, 1997). From a liberal viewpoint, it is surprising that there is less juvenile delinquency in China than either America or Canada. One would assume that the reason for this is that the Chinese customs do not leave much room for conflict until the child goes to another land and attempts to live within the culture of the new land. This brings social conflict and the conflict theory to the Chinese American.

According to Collins (1993), social conflicts can be resolved by sociologists if they apply the principles of conflict theory while minimizing the damage that the conflict causes. He posits that there are divisions within society. Ideology and self-interest are the basis for those divisions. Those elements increase as there is an increase in “resources to sustain conflicts and animosities” (289). He further posits that in any conflict absolute victory is not a possibility. Each group within the conflict must compromise. Only partial achievement of goals is attained (Collins, 1993).

Wolfe and Spencer (1996) examine forms of prejudice and stereotyping that are subtle and overt. Overt prejudice is explained by social identity theory and realistic conflict theory. Overt prejudice, however, seems to have decreased. Another theory, aversive racism theory explains why subtle stereotyping continues to exist (Wolfe & Spencer, 1996).

Ortiz (1996) posits that Baron formulated the distraction-conflict theory. The distraction-conflict theory is “the conflict that results when a person tries to attend both to other individuals and to an ongoing task leads to drive/arousal and stress, engendering social impairment on difficult tasks and social enhancement on simple tasks” (PG). Using middle-class fifth graders in a suburb of the South West, a study was done (PG). Approximately 30 percent of the participants were minorities (PG). The children learned to work through their conflicts based on the manner in which they were taught (Ortiz, 1996). The liberal person would be correct in the assumption that conflict theory is one of the theories that is correctable.

Junger and Marshall (1997) posit that the most volatile topics among academic criminologist are crime, ethnicity, and race. This is also a political issue. In a sample of 788 boys that were living in the Netherlands, social control theory was used to model their self-reported delinquency (79). The boys in the study were Dutch, Moroccan, Surinamese, and Turkish. It was found that conflict was one of the variables that related to their delinquency most consistently (Junger & Marshall, 1997).

Hagan (1993) suggests that reform and renewal are ahead for criminological theory. The research system will be changed significantly by these. Hagan posits that the struggle between consensus theory and conflict theory should be revived, and that differential association theory and strain theory, a type of Developmental Theory, should be further explored. There is a prediction that the criminological theories will veer toward mutual support and reciprocal stimulation as research designs and methods veer toward both diversity and flexibility (Hagan, 1993). This is important to anyone interested in criminology.

Saulters-Tubbs (1993) gives an account of the research in which conflict theory and social control theory were tested. Conflict theory maintains that females receive more lenient treatment than males do. Social control theory maintains that female offenders are treated more harshly. The conclusion reached was that the gender of the offender had little influence on the criminal justice system. Conflict theorists maintain that when a female receives treatment that is more lenient it is due to the “chivalrous and/or paternalistic nature of the criminal justice system” (Saulters-Tubbs, 1993, 37-42). Although both of these theories fall under Social Deviance Theory, they have conflicting views on female offenders.

Unfortunately, there is always going to be conflict of some sort. Additional research must be done in order to determine coping mechanisms so that young people will not turn to a life of criminal activity because of the conflicts they experience. Class struggle is a part of conflict theory, but it is not the only element. Other factors are important as well. There has been a lessening of the gap between social classes, but there will never be one social class. There will never be one race. Conflict will never be done away with. Utopia is not possible. Coping mechanisms are a viable answer to the conundrum of conflict theory.

In “Developmental Theories of Crime and Delinquency (Advances in Criminological Theory, Vol. 7)” Terence P. Thornberry gets to the important aspect of why more than one theory can explain crime. He presents empirical research as evidence. Delinquency is criminal behavior. It is advantageous to look at the developmental stages of a person that turns to a life of crime/delinquency. This has a major role in explaining juvenile delinquency. Chapter 1, which was written by Terrie E. Moffitt, discusses developmental theory as a part of offending limited to adolescents and offending that is persistent for the course of one’s life. Rand D. Conger and Ronald L. Simons discuss life-course contingencies in the development of adolescent antisocial behavior in Chapter 2. The other chapters are valuable, as well, particularly Chapter Eight in which Kenneth Adams discusses the developmental aspects of adult crime (Thornberry, 1996). This shows that the developmental theory of crime is an important one. This theory makes a lot of sense from a liberal viewpoint.

The developmental stages of one’s life are a precursor to whether that person becomes a criminal. Childhood behavior escalates when the child becomes an adult. He or she has not learned the proper behavior and crime is the result. Numerous criminals were casualties of the problems, which are encompassed in the developmental theory of behavior.

According to Sampson and Laub (1993), a person’s life-span development must acknowledge the importance of one’s behavior in childhood, but it is apparent that adult social factors have relevance to this issue as well (Sampson & Laub, 1993). A child can become greatly affected by things that happen during his/her developmental stages. Those incidences that happen to a person in the formative years have a lasting impression. When a child is abused, insulted, or traumatized in any way, it sticks with him/her.

According to McCarthy (1996), Sutherland said, “When criminal behavior is learned, the learning includes (a) techniques of committing the crime, which are sometimes complicated,, sometimes very simple; (b) the specific direction of motives, drives, rationalizations, and attitudes” (McCarthy, 1996, 135-147).

According to Agnew & Brezina (1997), measures of social control, as well as differential association, which are Social Deviance Theories, are important gauges into delinquent behavior. It is possible for a person with a low level of social control to adopt deviant behavior. Agnew and Brezina (1997) posit that social control may be reduced by peer association and deviant beliefs. Strain measures, which are Developmental Theory, have a reciprocal relation to both social control and differential association (Agnew & Brezina, 1997).

Empirical research has been used in order to examine delinquent’s explanations for their having committed miscellaneous offenses. Those findings are significant. They illuminate the “origins of specific delinquent acts or events . the results provide information on the relative utility of three theories of delinquent events: rational-choice theory and modified versions of strain and subcultural-deviance theory” (267). Drug offenses, property crimes and crimes of violence were discussed as crimes of juvenile delinquency (Agnew, 1990).

It is posited that youths that see themselves as bad kids, deviants, or rule violators are more likely to engage in delinquency than those seeing themselves as conformers. This is, in effect, the process of informal labeling or social identification. Etiological statements of labeling theory, which is a type of Social Deviance Theory, tend to focus on the negative consequences of labeling individuals as delinquent. Beginning with parents, teachers, and peers and then moving on to members of the criminal justice system, the response to initial acts of primary deviance is to label the youth as “bad” or “delinquent” (Bartusch & Matsueda, 1996, PG).

Once a child is labeled a certain way, the label remains with the child. It is a negative reinforcement that constantly rears its ugly head.

Theorist William Julius Wilson puts conflict theory into terms that can be understood. He said, “Both formal institutions and informal networks reflect social organization. In other words, neighborhood social organization depends on the extent of local friendship ties, the degree of social cohesion, the level of resident participation in formal and informal voluntary associations, the density and stability of formal organizations, and the nature of informal social controls” (Wilson, 1995, 3).

Early psychological and sociological theorists tended to equate homelessness of young people and delinquency. They used the terms homeless, runaway, and delinquent interchangeably. External environmental influences were generally emphasized by sociological theories. Strain theory, a type of Developmental Theory, for example, portrayed delinquent youths acting out in anger and frustration over their limited opportunities in an unequal class structure. According to this perspective, disorganized environments contribute to delinquent subcultures. Those subcultures arise out of collective attempts to achieve material success (Schweitzer, 1994).

According to Mears and his colleagues (1998), Italian criminologist Cesare Lombroso said that female criminals were “of less typical aspect than the male because she is less essentially criminal” (251). This has led some to assume that the theories of delinquency were for the identification of the male delinquent and not the female delinquent. Smith and Paternoster, however, suggested that the majority of empirical tests have used male subjects in order to study deviance. Because of this, female theories are not as readily known or understood. This does not mean that the same theories do not apply to females. It only means that the theorists are uncertain whether they are the same or different theories (Mears, et al, 1998).

Criminologist Sutherland posited that “delinquency is learned behavior and that it is learned in intimate social groups through face-to-face interaction” (251). Mears, et al (1998) suggested that Sutherland was a proponent of differential association, which is a Social Deviance Theory. There are many who share this viewpoint with Sutherland (Mears, et al, 1998).

According to Skinner and Fream (1997), there is a social theory analysis that can be associated with computer crime among college students. The two are able to show “that measures of differential association, differential reinforcement and punishment, definitions, and sources of imitation are significantly related to computer crime” (495). This compares to the data that Hollinger gathered, and explains why “social learning theory is an appropriate and useful theoretical perspective for understanding why college students commit illegal computer acts” (Skinner & Fream, 1997, 495).

C. Wright Mills was a theorist. According to Chasin (1990), “C. Wright Mills was a radical, critical of United States society and of sociology as practiced in this country” (337). In the middle of the century, Mills’ criticism was found provocative, although influential. A great many people read his views. Although Mills was a pessimistic, he was able to urge those with knowledge to look to fundamental social change. Mills was ale to inspire a great many in the field of sociology (Chasin, 1990).

According to Akers (1996), “Sutherland’s differential association theory has long been criticized as a ‘cultural deviance’ theory, and the critics have continued to apply this same designation to the theory’s social-learning reformulation by Akers” (229-247). Differential association and social learning theory is the same thing. They fall under the heading of Social Deviance Theory. Socialization is not always completely successful as Sutherland would suggest. There are individual differences in deviance; not all members of the same group act in the same manner. Because of this, Akers posits that crime has no single causative factor(Akers 229-247).

According to Warr (1993), criminologists have long recognized the importance of family and peers in the etiology of delinquency, but these two influences are commonly analyzed in isolation. However, if peers are treated as potential instigators of delinquency (following differential association theory) and parents as potential barriers to delinquency (following control theory), a crucial question emerges: Is parental influence capable of counteracting the influence of delinquent peers? When a child spends time with his/her family the influence of his/her peers is reduced. Data from the National Youth Survey confirms this, in fact (Warr, 1993). Peer influence can drastically change a child.

Juvenile delinquency is seen as a serious problem in the American society. Students in sociology and criminology need to be grounded in the reasons behind this widespread occurrence. From the viewpoint of a liberal democratic person, there are several possible theories into the cause of juvenile delinquency. One of those theories is conflict theory. Conflict Theory is, basically, the theory that because of conflicts (strife, struggles, disagreements), the juvenile becomes a delinquent individual. Labeling theory is the theory that by calling someone something, i. e. giving him or her a label such as juvenile delinquent, the person is stereotyped into conforming to that label. Differential association is the theory that focuses on the processes by which juveniles come to commit acts that are delinquent. This theory posits that criminal behavior is learned by interaction with others with whom he/she associates.

A person can go to a juvenile facility and see evidence of both Social Deviance Theory and Developmental Theory. The juvenile delinquent, in many ways, has become a product of society. Society has allowed the conflict, the labeling, the differential association, etc. The liberals understand this concept. In order to stop juvenile delinquency, several things must be done. The child must be given a good label. He/she will continue to exhibit bad behavior as long as he/she is wearing the label of a delinquent. Children must be kept from associating with known delinquents. They must also be given a chance. There will always be conflicts in life, but some of those conflicts can be changed. Children are not small adults. They have certain developmental stages they go through. It is important to recognize the effect of trauma on a developing child.

Because of the nature of crime, there must be more than one explanation for criminal behavior. The two most significant theories are Social Deviance Theory and Developmental Theory. The young criminals commit crimes because of their social deviance or because of their developmental process. Many studies have been done on both types of theories. There is empirical evidence to support that they do indeed explain the causes of juvenile delinquency. The liberals are correct in their opinion of what constitutes the causes of juvenile delinquency. Social Deviance in the form of conflict theory, labeling theory, etc., and Developmental Theory in the form of social strain are the causes of juvenile delinquency.

SAMPLE OUTLINE

I. The introduction contains the thesis statement, which is that from a liberal democratic viewpoint, there are many theories into the causes of juvenile delinquency.

A. Conflict theory, a type of Social Deviance Theory, is one of the theories of juvenile delinquency.

B. Differential Association/Learning theory, a type of Social Deviance Theory, is one of the theories of juvenile delinquency.

C. Labeling theory, a type of Social Deviance Theory, is one of the theories of juvenile delinquency.

II. Conflict theory, a type of Social Deviance Theory, includes racial inequality and poverty.

A. Racial minorities are treated harsher in the criminal justice system.

B. Juvenile delinquency is associated with conflict theory, particular in minorities.

III. Social conflict is capable of being resolved.

A. bSociologists need to minimize the damage caused by the conflict.

IV. Social identity theory and realistic conflict theory explain overt prejudice.

V. Distraction-conflict theory was formulated by Baron.

VI. Social control theory is also prevalent in the Netherlands.

VII. There is a struggle between consensus theory and conflict theory.

VIII. There is a difference between conflict theory and social control theory.

A. abConflict theory suggests that females offenders are treated more leniently than males.

B. abSocial control theory suggests that female offenders are treated more harshly than males.

IX. bConflict will always exist in one form or another.

X. bSocial deviance theory and developmental theories are also theories of juvenile delinquency.

A. bActing against the norms of society is social deviance.

B. bDevelopmental theories include such things as insults or trauma, the individual’s behavioral response, problems in school, problems in society, and others.

XI. bDifferential Association is an important gauge into delinquent behavior.

XII. Strain theory is related to both social control and differential association, yet it is more closely related to Developmental Theory.

XIII. Labeling theory is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

A. abOnce a child is given a label, or accepts a label, he/she becomes whatever that label is.

a. ab Parents, teachers, and/or peers label a young person as bad.

b. abParents, teachers, and/or peers label a young person as delinquent.

XIV. Parents are capable of reducing peer influence.

XV. Homelessness and delinquency are equated by early sociologists and psychologists.

XVI. Because of the nature of crime, there has to be more than one explanation for juvenile delinquency.

XVII. Quotes from several theorists are given.

A. abCesare Lombroso was an Italian criminologist.

B. abSutherland was a proponent of differential association, a type of Social Deviance Theory.

C. abC. Wright Mills was a proponent of conflict theory, a type of Social Deviance Theory.

XVIII. In conclusion, students in sociology and criminology need to be grounded in the reasons behind the widespread occurrence of juvenile delinquency.

A. Many criminologists are proponents of Social Deviance Theory as to the cause of juvenile delinquency.

ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY

Agnew, Robert; Brezina, Timothy (1997, September), Relational problems with peers, gender and delinquency, Youth & Society, v29 n1 pp. 84(28).

The authors concluded that the theory of interpersonal strain is one that has been greatly neglected in delinquency research that is quantitative. They posit that there have been arguments that were theoretical which suggest that strain is related to female delinquency. The authors have found that most of the empirical research that has been done on delinquency has focused on the male. The perceive this as being the reason for neglecting the variable of the interpersonal strain connection to female delinquency. They postulate that the data suggests interpersonal strain has a role in explaining a person’s delinquency.

Agnew, Robert (1990 August), The origins of delinquent events: an examination of offender accounts, Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, v27 n3 pp. 267(28).

The theme of this article is the interpretation of the strain theory, which is also known as the anomie theory. Although there are macrosocial versions of this theory, this article focuses on the individual-level as related to the consequences of both environment and structure in regard to deviant behavior.

Akers, Ronald L. “Is differential association/social learning cultural deviance theory?” Criminology, (1996): May, 34 n2 pp. 229-247.

The theme of this article is differential association/social learning as a cultural deviance. Differential association is important to the study of the theories of juvenile delinquency. Without association to criminals, many people would not have become juvenile delinquents.

Bartusch, Dawn Jeglum; Matsueda, Ross L. (1996, September), Gender, reflected appraisals, and labeling: a cross-group test of an interactionist theory of delinquency,” Social Forces, pp. PG.

*PG Refers To Electronic Page Obtained From:http:www.elibrary.com

This article is important because it discusses the labeling theory. Some suggest that gender has a basis on whether a person will become a juvenile delinquent. It is important to note that etiological statements of labeling theory tend to focus on the negative consequences of labeling individuals as delinquent. Beginning with parents, teachers, and peers and then moving on to members of the criminal justice system, the response to initial acts of primary deviance is to label the youth as ‘bad’ or ‘delinquent.’

Chasin, Barbara H. (1990, Fall), C. Wright Mills, pessimistic radical, Sociological Inquiry, v60 n4 pp. 337(15).

This article was necessary to present theorist C. Wright Mills concepts and ideas about conflict theory, because he is a proponent of conflict theory. Mills urged intellectuals to use their skills to bring about a society where reason and democracy would prevail. Though marginalized within the profession during his life, he helped inspire the development of a critical perspective within sociology.

Collins, Randall (1993, Winter), What does conflict theory predict about America’s future? 1993 presidential address, (principles of conflict theory), Sociological Perspectives, v36 n4 pp. 289(25).

This article is important because Collins is a proponent of the idea that social conflicts can be resolved by sociologists if they apply the principles of conflict theory while minimizing the damage that the conflict causes. He posits that there are divisions within society. Ideology and self-interest are the basis for those divisions.

Frazier, Charles E.; Bishop, Donna M.; Henretta, John C. (1992, Fall), The social context of race differentials in juvenile justice dispositions, (effect of black power on court treatment), The Sociological Quarterly, v33 n3 pp. 447(12).

This article is important because it suggests that those supporting traditional conflict theory find that minorities get harsher treatment by the criminal justice system. This is purportedly because they lack both the resources and the power to make sure that their treatment is equal to others. Hawkins pointed to a revision of this paradigm. In this instance, the minority will “receive harsher dispositions in social contexts in which their power threatens the dominant group’s hegemony.”

Hagan, John (1993, November), Beyond the classics: reform and renewal in the study of crime and inequality, (response to articles in this issue), (Special Issue: Symposium on the Future of Research in Crime and Delinquency), Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, v30 n4 pp. 485(7).

This article is important because Hagan posits that the struggle between consensus theory and conflict theory should be revived, and that differential association theory and strain theory should be further explored. There is a prediction that the criminological theories will veer toward mutual support and reciprocal stimulation as research designs and methods veer toward both diversity and flexibility

Hoffman, Hanock; Wolf, Yuval; Addad, Moshe (1997, June), Moral judgement by criminals and conformists as a tool for examination of sociological predictions, International Journal of Offender Therapy & Comparative Criminology, v41 n2 pp. 180(19).

This article is important because it discusses R. K. Merton and his psychological theories about crime and criminal behavior. Merton recognized that a conceptional framework was needed to better explain social deviance and criminality. Anomie is one kind of social deviance. Anomie represents social instability. The person’s standards and values are broken or non-existent.

Junger, Marianne; Marshall, Ineke Haen (1997, February), The interethnic generalizability of social control theory: an empirical test, Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, v34 n1 pp. 79(34).

This article is important because it suggests that the theme of conflict theory is that race, ethnicity, and crime are controversial issues among academic criminologists. A sampling was done of several boys and social control theory was used to model their self-reported delinquency. It was found that conflict was one of the variables that related to their delinquency most consistently.

Leiber, Michael J.; Stairs, Jayne M. (1999, February), RACE, CONTEXTS, AND THE USE OF INTAKE DIVERSION, Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, v36 i1 pp. 56(1).

This article is important because Leiber and Stairs suggest a need for broadening the scope of this type of research. Many research methodologies should be utilized. Conflict theory should be refined. Conflict theory has a great deal to do with punishment, racial stereotyping, and structural contingencies.

McCarthy, Bill (1996, Winter), The attitudes and action of others : tutelage and Sutherland’s theory of differential association, British Journal of Criminology, 36 n1 pp. 135-147.

This article is important because it discusses Sutherland, the man who formed the theory of differential association.

Mears, Daniel P.; Ploeger, Matthew; Warr, Mark (1998, August), Explaining the gender gap in delinquency: peer influence and moral evaluations of behavior, Journal of Research in

Crime and Delinquency, v35 n3 pp. 251.

The authors found several possible conclusions. They found that females and males differ in respect to peers that are delinquent. They also found that males are much more likely to have friends that are delinquent than females are. They posit that females are less strongly affected by delinquent peers than are males. Moral evaluations of females are effectual in countering the influence of peers. One of the strongest predictors of subsequent delinquent behavior is the number of delinquent peers with whom an adolescent associates. In the case of the female, however, their moral judgements are capable of reducing or even eliminating their delinquent peer’s impact on their behavior.

Ortiz, Ann E.; Johnson, David W.; Johnson, Roger T., (1996, April 1), The effect of positive goal and resource interdependence on individual performance, The Journal of Social Psychology, pp. PG. *PG Refers To Electronic Page Obtained From: http://www.elibrary.com

This article is important because it posits that Baron formulated the distraction-conflict theory. The distraction-conflict theory is the conflict that results when a person tries to attend both to other individuals and to an ongoing task leads to drive/arousal and stress, engendering social impairment on difficult tasks and social enhancement on simple tasks.

Sampson, Robert J.; Laub, John H. (1993), Crime in the Making : Pathways and Turning Points through Life, Harvard University Press, pp. 3-320.

This article is important because it discusses developmental theory. A person’s life-span development must acknowledge the importance of one’s behavior in childhood, but it is apparent that adult social factors have relevance to this issue as well. A child can become greatly affected by things that happen during his/her developmental stages. Those incidences that happen to a person in the formative years have a lasting impression. When a child is abused, insulted, or traumatized in any way, it sticks with him/her.

Sampson, Robert J.; Laub, John H. (1993, May), Structural variations in juvenile court processing: inequality, the underclass, and social control, (Crime, Class, and Community –

An Emerging Paradigm), Law & Society Review, 27 n2 pp. 285-311.

This article is important because Sampson and Laub posit that a better understanding needs to be made of the social forces involved in creating the juvenile delinquent. Empirical evidence was studied utilizing in excess of 200 counties in the United States in the structural context of conflict theory and its ideas concerning juvenile delinquency. Racial inequality and poverty were found. Racial inequality and poverty appear to be among the main conflicts that conflict theory employs.

Saulters-Tubbs, Cecilia (1993, June), Prosecutorial and judicial treatment of female narcotic offenders, Federal Probation, 57 n2 pp. 37-42.

This article is important because it gives an account of the research in which conflict theory and social control theory were tested. Conflict theory maintains that females receive more lenient treatment than males do. Social control theory maintains that female offenders are treated more harshly. The conclusion reached was that the gender of the offender had little influence on the criminal justice system. Conflict theorists maintain that when a female receives treatment that is more lenient it is due to the chivalrous and/or paternalistic nature of the criminal justice system.

Schweitzer, Robert D.-Hier, Sally J.-et al (1994, 1 January), Parental bonding, family systems, and environmental predictors of adolescent homelessness, Journal of Emotional & Behavioral Disorders, pp. PG. *PG Refers To Electronic Text Obtained From: http:www.elibary.com

This article is important because it discusses the theories of early psychological and sociological theorists who tended to equate homelessness of young people and delinquency. They used the terms homeless, runaway, and delinquent interchangeably. External environmental influences were generally emphasized by sociological theories. Strain theory, for example, portrayed delinquent youths acting out in anger and frustration over their limited opportunities in an unequal class structure. According to this perspective, disorganized environments contribute to delinquent subcultures. Those subcultures arise out of collective attempts to achieve material success.

Skinner, William F.; Feam, Anne M. (1997, November), A social learning theory analysis of computer crime among college students, Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, v34

n4 pp. 495(24).

This article is important because it shows that there is a social theory analysis that can be associated with crime. Skinner and Feam are able to show that measures of differential association, differential reinforcement and punishment, definitions, and sources of imitation are significantly related to computer crime.

Thoits, Peggy A. (1995, June 1), Social psychology: the interplay between sociology and psychology,” Social Forces, pp. PG. *PG Refers To Electronic Page Obtained From:

http://www.elibrary.com

This article is important because it shows that sociologists spend a great deal of time attempting to explain the deviant behavior of juvenile delinquency. Their etiological theories have generated extensive research in the areas of anomie theory, conflict theory, control theory, differential association/learning theory, and labeling theory. Sociologists have used the research of such psychologists as Asch, Cartwright, Milgram, and Sherif.

Thornberry, Terence P. (1996, August), Developmental Theories of Crime and Delinquency (Advances in Criminological Theory, Vol. 7), Transaction Pub., pp. 3-300.

This book is important because Terence P. Thornberry gets to the important aspect of why more than one theory can explain crime. He presents empirical research as evidence. Delinquency is criminal behavior. It is advantageous to look at the developmental stages of a person that turns to a life of crime/delinquency. This has a major role in explaining juvenile delinquency.

Warr, Mark (1993, September), Parents, peers, and delinquency, Social Forces, v72 n1 pp. 247(18).

This article is important because it shows that criminologists have long recognized the importance of family and peers in the etiology of delinquency. These two influences are commonly analyzed in isolation. However, if peers are treated as potential instigators of delinquency (following differential association theory) and parents as potential barriers to delinquency (following control theory), a crucial question emerges: Is parental influence capable of counteracting the influence of delinquent peers? When a child spends time with his/her family the influence of his/her peers is reduced. Data from the National Youth Survey confirms this, in fact (Warr, 1993).

Wolfe, Connie T.; Spencer, Steven J. (1996, November-December), Stereotypes and prejudice: their overt and subtle influence in the classroom, (Multiculturalism and Diversity in Higher

Education), American Behavioral Scientist, v40 n2 pp. 176(10).

This article is important because it examines forms of prejudice and stereotyping that are subtle and overt. Overt prejudice is explained by social identity theory and realistic conflict theory. Overt prejudice, however, seems to have decreased. Another theory, aversive racism theory explains why subtle stereotyping continues to exist. These are important concept in conflict theory.

Wong, Siu Kwong (1997, September), Delinquency of Chinese-Canadian youth: a test of opportunity, control, and intergeneration conflict theories, Youth & Society, v29 n1 pp.

112(22).

This article is important because it compares youths in other nations to determine if juvenile delinquency exists in those countries. It has been shown that youths in America and Canada have more delinquency than those in China do. Wong suggests that this is because the Chinese culture puts an emphasis on positive influences. A study was done comparing adolescents in Canada with those in China using the three perspectives of opportunity, control, and intergeneration conflict theories.

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