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The purpose of the major assignment is to allow you to carry out relatively in-depth research on a topic of your choice. You can select an issue from any of the topics covered in the course or another topic approved by the course convenor. However, the assignment topic must be framed as a contentious question which you will set out to answer, rather than simply as a ‘literature review’ exercise.

Essay Topic:  Is manipulating the physical, psychological or social environment most effective in preventing offending?

Theoretical Approaches to Juvenile Delinquency

Offending can be described as the commitment towards and illegal activity for breaking any rule of law.  Juvenile delinquency is one of the most common forms of offending by the minor. It is the term that is used for describing illegal actions committed by the minor population. According to Turanovic & Pratt (2013), one of the most common forms of offending, the context of Juvenile delinquency includes minor violations as well as severe crimes that contribute to violent actions. This common form of offending is characterized by several causes as well as understanding why a minor intends to commit the crime. Addressing Juvenile delinquency is thus essential for the prevention of future crimes as well as to promote healthy development to the minority population engaged in this action of offending. Siegel & Welsh (2014) states that addressing the factors which have led to the choices of a minor child might help them to change and improve their actions in the future.  Several research studies argued that identifying the factors in the environment followed by manipulating them can be one of the most effective ways towards preventing offending in the context of juvenile delinquency (Pardini, 2016). This essay thus aims to discuss the concept of offending through the light of Juvenile delinquency and the theoretical approach towards its prevention. The essay will furthermore evaluate the impact of 3 arguably essential factors, the physical factors, the psychological factors, and the social environment in Juvenile delinquency offending, as well as the effect of manipulating the factors towards the prevention of the offending.

The habitual commitment of several activities of crime as well as offenses by minors is influenced by several factors. According to Smith (2013) addressing these factors at an early age results in the prevention of this offending by the development of a protective barrier which will enable the minor to grow in a secure environment without any problems in their upcoming future. This section will discuss the theoretical approach towards its debatable ending in the society together with the impact of manipulation of physical, psychological, and social environment towards the prevention of  Juvenile delinquency.

The topic of offending, Juvenile delinquency is a much fertile area for the illustration of social logical theories (Pardini, 2016). According to the researchers, three of the major social logical tradition that includes symbolic interactionism, conflict theory, and structural functionalism contribute to the illustration of offending or delinquency.

Impact of Physical, Psychological and Social Environment on Juvenile Delinquency

Structural functionalism – this theoretical approach regards the behavior of delinquency as the effect of breakdowns or strains within the social procedure that develops conformity. According to this theory, the focus is majorly over institutions like school or families which socializes a child to confirm their nature towards the values and principles of the society surrounding and the environment as well as the ways how these institutions might fail in introducing the child to his surrounding environment (Agnew & Brezina, 2012). The theory revolves around the consensus and agreement that assumes the identification of behaviors that are valued as well as valued in society. This theoretical approach aims to answer why a child during their adolescence tends to behave in such a way that challenges the consensus. This theoretical approach specifically focuses on the norms set out by the social environment over the behavior pattern of an individual and how social factors influence the violated behavioral pattern of the juveniles.

Roots of the functional theory are found in Anomie theory by Durkheim (Cumming, Strnadová & Dowse, 2014). According to this theoretical approach, the main reason behind offending is the lack of social standards and ethical considerations. The theoretical concept is based on the idea that the lack of clarity and rules result in the psychological state of frustration, what placement and despair which influences a person to commit offending.

Symbolic interactionist theories related to delinquency are less concerned with the values than the way within which definitions and meanings of social factors can help in the production of delinquent behavior. The differential association theory by Edwin Sutherland, referred to the association among people as well as the association of ideas (Kerig, Becker & Egan, 2010). The theory explains delinquency as well as criminality by illustrating and explicit connection between an individual and their ideas. The labeling theory by Franklin Tannenbaum pointed out some aspects of Juvenile delinquency which included adventure, excitement, and play as the normal characteristics of The Street Life of teenagers. The theory explains the term primary and secondary deviances to distinguish among the actions which occur before and after the manipulation of the societal environment and their responses.

The conflict theory includes the most distinctive feature of the attention of overall relation as well as an economic contradiction for generating the concept of delinquency and its reactions. This theoretical approach emphasizes majorly over the role of dominant groups of society towards imposing legal labels to subordinate groups of society. An early group conflict theory by George Vold stated that criminality or intentions of action towards offending involve both behavior of humans as well as the definition of law (Artello, et al., 2015). This theory regarded delinquency as the minority group behavior which direct opposition towards the rules and regulations of the world of power and dominant values of the capitalist class.

Manipulating Physical Environment to Prevent Juvenile Delinquency

According to the research studies, physical features influence the behavior of both the potential offenders as well as the victims within the setting of offending. Within the context of Juvenile delinquency, the majority of the research targets over the fact that minor offenders operate in a rational fashion. They prefer to commit delinquency and engage in offending behavior that requires less effort with the provision of the highest benefits as well as causes the lowest risks. Omboto et al., (2013) suggest that Juvenile delinquency is most likely to happen when the potential offenders get in contact with their preferable target of crime influenced by their peers.  Some of the physical factors that determine delinquency within a child include the factors of malnutrition, lack of sleep, developmental disorder or abbreviation, deformities, physical exuberance, the effect of weather and drug addiction

Manipulating physical factors of the environment can prevent crime or initiatives in the reduction of offending.  Manipulating the factors of malnutrition, deformities, and other ailments can initiate in the prevention of the offending or the actions of Juvenile delinquency (Gungea, Jaunky & Ramesh, 2017). One of the finest examples of manipulating physical factors towards the development of an effective way to prevent offending of Juvenile delinquency is the development of effective governmental strategies to addressing the challenges of homelessness, unemployed parents, lack of food and poor living standards which contributes to the physical factors that furthermore induces offending by the minors.

Juvenile delinquency can be defined as a conspicuous social challenge. According to the research studies the flow within the characteristics as well as the law of its development, have some real social significance. The psychologist has identified several factors in the environment that are related to child delinquency. From the psychological norms, Juvenile delinquency is connected to several psychological trends that include aggressive temperament and average intelligence. According to Siegel & Welsh (2014), juvenile delinquents engaged in criminal activity tends to have lower levels of self-esteem than the other. The psychological theory which highlights the past experience of trauma and harassment child explain the reason behind Juvenile delinquency specifically.

In the context of the explanation of the psychological factors influencing Juvenile delinquency offending, the problem behavior theory attempts to explain the behavior outcome like deviancy and substance use within a child due to psychological components. Siegel & Welsh (2014) illustrates the psychological approach towards explaining delinquency by examining juvenile within the context of psychological factors. According to the research study, one of the major psychological factors contributing to offending is the experience of emotional trauma. Furthermore, psychological factors such as social disruption, loneliness, and low self-esteem with continuous discouragement contribute to a criminal personality that has high opinion towards selfishness, excitement and manipulative nature. The learning theory proposed by Albert bandura stated how psychological factors within an individual are developed and evolved into a criminal nature by observing and watching others and often this behavior are the results of intimidation (Mueller-Fabian et al., 2018).  The educational experiences of young children within the school environment for the importance to affect the psychological factors which might contribute to the development of low self-esteem and self what among the child.

Manipulating Psychological Factors to Prevent Juvenile Delinquency

Manipulating the psychological factors that contribute to the development of delinquency behavior or criminal nature among the children or juveniles can be stated as one of the best and effective ways towards preventing further offending. Manipulating school-related psychological risk factors that include dimensions of a learner’s characteristics as well as factors within the school climate like learning difficulties within a child, constant bullying from other peers and discouragement for lack of motivation from the teacher due to poor performance for academic failure, can contribute towards the improvement of the delinquent behaviour of a child. The process of manipulation within the context of psychological factors includes encouragement, motivating a child within the school setting towards his uniqueness, acknowledging his efforts, and taking strict measures in case of trauma for bullying in school (Cunneen, White, 2011). Emotions such as anger, fear, and self-worthiness are some of the major psychological factors that need to be considered carefully by manipulating in the environment of the school and providing more affection to the child. Example, it is the responsibility of both the parent and the teacher to engage in proper manipulation of the psychological factors for the wellness and proper growth of a child. This is because a lack of proper manipulation of psychological factors in the environment of a child might eventually worsen the condition of the child to have major complexes and deviation.

According to Ojo, (2012), social disorganization in the environment, contributes to the disorganization of an individual. The disorganization of the social environment is one of the leading causes toward an increased level of Juvenile delinquency offending in society.  Juvenile delinquency can be considered as one of the categories of social problem which form as the barrier in the development of the economic growth of the nation. The social environment drives Juvenile delinquency due to the economic deterioration, political inconsistency as well as the fall of essential social institutions like public assistance, education, and amenities. Role of family plays an essential factor towards Juvenile delinquency. Change of social environmental factors within the society leads to high rates of unemployment, thereby contributing to a vicious cycle. The low income among the family leads to the rise of illegal activities among the minority population due to the lack of proper education, the standard of living, and nutrition.  Furthermore the rise of urbanization throughout the world has contributed to Juvenile delinquency in regards to the technological advances where the minority population is falling in the trap of cybercrime (Mueller-Fabian et al., 2018). Some of the most basic changes within urban society are the alteration of social relations, social behaviour, control and communication.

Manipulating Social Environment to Prevent Juvenile Delinquency

According to Meldrum et al., (2016), family plays an essential factor in the development of social environment that influences juvenile offending. Children growing up with adequate parental control and attention tense to have a lesser chance of getting involved in delinquent activities rather than children who are exposed to violent families, inadequate parental control and weak integration and internal linkage in the family. Minority population belonging from broken homes and disadvantage background tends to have very few opportunities for a basic standard of living, good education, and employment opportunities (Nisar et al., 2015). Thus, they are more prone to social exclusion. Furthermore young individuals who have been exposed to Juvenile activities are more likely to engage in criminal activities in their future. The involvement of the family members towards crime furthermore leads to criminalisation within the family that impacts the individual and psychological factors of the child, thereby developing the social environment which pushes the child towards delinquent behaviour.

Manipulation of the wellbeing of family is increasing recognised in several research paper. This is because several adult criminal initiates the delinquent career juvenile offending.  Towards discussing the effects of manipulation of social environment over the delinquent nature of juvenile, the Matza's neutralization theory analysis the normative agreement among a parent and a child in relation to Juvenile delinquency by stating the importance of parental influence towards the formation of social environment in which a child develops and grows (Assink et al., 2015). Manipulating the families of potential delinquents is one of the most effective prevention program of Juvenile delinquency. Example, manipulating children, by encouraging them to extracurricular activities in local and community projects by government is essential for the correct development of a child. Finally manipulation of the social environment by the creation of awareness can be another effective way to prevent Juvenile offenders.

Conclusion and recommendation

Juvenile delinquency can be considered as one of the most serious problems within the society. This offending is a serious byproduct of modern industrialisation and urbanisation. The essay illustrated three major factors contributing to Juvenile delinquency offending, together with the explanation of the impact of manipulation of these factors over the wellness of juveniles (Petrosino et al., 2013). However, the issue of Juvenile delinquency is majorly influenced by social environment which plays an important role in shaping the physical and psychological factors of a juvenile towards engaging in criminal or delinquency offending. According to the department of justice office of Juvenile justice and delinquency prevention in Australia, the increasing rate of Juvenile delinquency is the problem due to the societal environment which is filled with crime and inequality (Greenwood & Welsh, 2012).

The estimated cost of Juvenile crime is difficult to calculate by accumulating the total number of direct and indirect crimes. This further more includes the cost of medicine to the individual, the cost of the government, damage property, productivity loss and loss of property value (Cumming, Strnadová & Dowse, 2014). Lack of proper and employment opportunities, increasing level of gap between the rich and the labour class, inequality in terms of economic welfare, constitutes the social environment that gives birth to Juvenile delinquents.  

The Juvenile justice system traditionally has developed treatments, sanctions, as well as rehabilitation arrangements, was changing the problematic behaviour of juveniles in Australia. However according to the current statistics and report, it has been proven that juveniles once engaged in criminal behaviour, does not turn around for availing the rehabilitation services provided by the Juvenile justice system of the country. As per the national institute of justice journal, the act of prevention in Juvenile delinquency is more effective as well as less costly to the economy than the treatment (Gungea, Jaunky & Ramesh, 2017). Hence it is important for the government to engage in most strict and effective policies for many addressing the social environment and societal factors that contribute to the development of individual and psychological characteristics within juveniles towards engaging in delinquency activities. More prevention programs need to be created within the school for keeping children away from drugs as well as violence. Towards addressing inequality in terms of societal factors, manipulating the current capitalist society which develops a wide gap between the labour class and the richer class needs to be amended with the formation of effective laws towards mandatory and affordable education and equal employment opportunities (Petrosino et al., 2013). Towards addressing the psychological factors involved, manipulating juveniles with self-esteem, motivation and the hunger towards better standard of living, buy proper education and employment opportunities can be considered as some of the effective ways in preventing delinquency offending.


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