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Yale University Study: Why Juveniles Commit Crimes

Il defense lawyerAnyone under the age of 18 is a juvenile. When adolescents choose to break the law by participating in juvenile theft or other harmful behavior, we call this juvenile delinquency. In most cases, children who find themselves in trouble do not qualify for adult punishments, yet the consequences can have lasting effects. Currently, the United States faces an epidemic of juvenile delinquency. Crimes committed by one or more teens account for 20% of all criminal activity. This upward trend has experts searching for causes and the best methods of prevention.

The Expert Opinion

There is a constant debate as to what influences our behavior most, is it the genes we inherit from our family or our surroundings. Most experts agree that both play a pivotal role in our behavior choices. Children, teens, and young adults, however, are often more influenced by their surroundings. Adolescents make decisions directly relating to what is going on with their family members, friends, and their peers. These influencers are intensified by the accompaniment of a desire for material things, fashion trends, peer pressure, and financial lust, to name a few. Although any child can make a mistake that can result in legal consequences, the risk is higher when intensified by a background of:

  • Poverty;
  • Repeated exposure to violence;
  • Drugs;
  • Firearms;
  • Unstable family;
  • Family violence;
  • Delinquent peer groups; and
  • Media violence.

Suggested Preventative Measures

Many times, a drastic change at home can result in a teenager striking out in other ways. For instance, if parents divorce or a long-time friend moves away, an adolescent feels unstable and begins seeking attention from their peers, even if it is just on a subconscious level. In single-parent homes, the parent must work which puts a strain on the relationship and communication levels between parent and child, leaving the child left to learn about the world and appropriate social behaviors from other sources. If you feel your child is falling into the wrong crowd, foster an open line of communication. Also, encourage them to join an activity at school or within the city. Many teens even choose to find a part-time job to earn money to buy the things their peers have, but also to keep busy and begin building a stable financial future.

Mistakes Happen

If your teen already made a mistake or stands falsely accused of breaking the law, you likely are confused and concerned about how this affects them both now and in the future. The first question many parents ask is, “will they be able to go to college or get a job”? The answer is likely, “yes,” dependant on the circumstances. To be sure, you will want to retain the help of a Wheaton juvenile defense attorney. The experienced attorneys at Davi Law Group, LLC can review your case and offer possible solutions when you call 630-580-6373.



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