Juvenile Delinquents: Causes of Juvenile Delinquency

Juvenile Delinquents: Causes of Juvenile Delinquency


With the fast pace development in our country, we notice lots of changes appearing in the climate, the environment, society, our educational system and then the behavior of our children.

Reports in various researches and surveys show an increase in delinquent behavior of the students aged 14-20 years. Children committing crimes in developed countries were kind of a common problem but recently remarkable crimes were seen on an increase in Indian schools also. Children studying in reputed schools and belonging to good families have been involved in serious crimes like sexual abuse, attempt to murder, robbery and many more.
The question arises here, what made these children act in this manner, and if this is the cost we have to pay in return of the development in our country and rise in our living standards, then are we mentally and materialistically prepared to accept and fight or deal with such conditions of our upcoming generation.

Who are Juvenile Delinquents?

In the simplest language those children who create a problem or indulge themselves in bad habits, crimes or mal activities are called Juvenile Delinquents. In other words we call them problematic children. Their activities start from arriving late in school, telling lies, and stealing things and go far beyond to the world of bigger crimes as sexual harassment and murders.
Such children belong to the same normal category of students who miss school or tell a lie for not having completed homework. Almost all students at a certain stage of their life would be seen doing any or all of those activities mentioned above. We see very young children stealing stationery items from friend’s bag or missing class to avoid a teacher’s anger, lying to parents or teachers for some reason, but certainly all of us do not fall into the category of Juvenile Delinquents.

It is thus a difficult task for teachers and parents to identify this behavior in their children. However, we may notice the following characteristics for proper identification:
# Repeated same action like stealing, quarrelling with peers.
# Emotional distance from parents.
# Sudden change in normal behavior.
# Distraction from studies
# Complains from peers and other teachers.

Causes of Juvenile Behavior

There may be various causes for this kind of behavior of children. It is important for teachers as well as the parents to understand these causes.

Theoretical Causes:

# Rational Choice: Many psychologists believe that this kind of behavior is the result of the self interest or will of the offender himself. In other words he does this because he wants to do this. This cause is most harmful because the offender finds a certain degree of satisfaction after committing the crime and so sees nothing wrong to it.

# Social Disorganization: Traditionally our community lived as one. There was joint family system. The environment of the school, home everything was very different from what it is today. As our social system is undergoing a change, families are isolated, with both parents working and children left alone with no care.

# Strain and Stress: The children are more prone to easy stress and strain from the discrimination in our society. Though India has seen fast development and living conditions have improved a lot in past one decade, still we can see that the rich have become richer and the poor are poorer. So the discrimination is still there. The desires and wants drive children to commit crimes merely for satisfaction of their wants.

# Bad Company: The children who are in bad company knowingly or unknowingly enter and become a part of the world of crimes. Such individuals are motivated to commit crime by their peers or criminal friends.

# Labeling: This is the theory of our society. Generally when we see someone or hear someone’s involvement in a crime, we actually label him as a criminal. In schools we see and hear terms like Back Benchers, Failures. Such terminology becomes identification marks of these individuals and they thus rarely make an attempt to come out of it.

# Male Phenomenon: Mostly we see the young men at their adolescent period are naturally more aggressive and they pretend to be more powerful, strong or daring. In a pressure to prove this masculinity, they step into the world of crime.

External Causes

# Atmosphere at home: An individual may have certain problems within his home which may have led him to the wrong society. Like treatment from step mothers, poverty, Effect of T.V or Internet or other media. Such cases are mostly seen with children who do not have anyone to look after them after they return from school or there is least or excess of discipline exercised on them by the elders of the family.

# Neighborhood: To some extent the neighborhood also marks an individual’s ability to deal with Delinquency. If he finds gamblers, quarrelling couples, drunkards around him, then this is all that he would fall into.

# Teacher’s Behavior: The last but not the least teachers are role models for their students. So, he should present himself as an ideal, at the same time understand the needs, the problems of his students specially at this age group 14-20 years which are more prone to crimes and wrong deeds.


Juvenile Delinquency can be checked at a very primary stage and measures can be taken both at home as well as in school to help bring children out of this characterization. As it is evident from the above discussion that it’s not just the will of an individual which makes him get into the world of wrong deeds, all other factors like schools, neighborhood, Family, Society, Situations are equally responsible for the degradation or fall of a child.
Hence instead of labeling them as one we must try and find ways, rectify the errors in their lives which led them to behave in this manner. Children are soft clay, we can mould them, we have the art, we have the knowledge, all that is needed is faith and patience which if we fail to practice it results in complete reform of a child to anti social elements and thereby criminals, which is wrong on our part. Criminals are not born they are made, and if we as a society can make them then we as a society also have the power to cure them.


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