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Critically addresses the function of essay structures (intro, body & conclusion) with the seamless organisation of all ideas/arguments.

Addresses the function of essay structures (intro, body & conclusion) with minor disjointedness in organisation of ideas.

Some attempts made to maintain the structure and organisation of the essay (intro, body & conclusion) with not all ideas tying in together. The structure and organisation of the essay (intro, body & conclusion) is often unclear with little to no link between ideas. Argument

Content and ideas critically presented and developed; Discerning and critical evidence presented where applicable to make ideas clear throughout the essay. The thesis statement is specific, provides direction and supported critically and analytically throughout the essay.

Arguments developed critically and exceptional conclusions drawn from the ideas raised.

Content and ideas are well presented and developed or supported; relevant evidence presented where applicable to make ideas clear.

The thesis statement is specific and supported for the most part throughout the essay.

Discussion is persuasively developed and logical conclusions drawn from the ideas raised in the paper.

Content and ideas are present but not particularly developed or supported; some evidence, but usually of a generalized nature.

The thesis statement is too broad and/ or supported at times throughout the essay. Discussion developed to a point and some attempt made at concluding the arguments drawn from the ideas raised in the paper.

Content and ideas are generally lacking and not well developed or supported.

The thesis statement is unclear and/or ineffectively supported throughout the paper.

Discussion is poorly developed and minimal attempt made at concluding the arguments drawn from the ideas raised in the paper.

Introduction of differences between being tried as an adolescent and adult, and the resulting consequences from it.

The term adolescents, widely known as teenagers are referred to the stage of life that is after puberty and before adulthood. This critical age is marked by several characteristics that include biological growth and development, an unidentified status, enhanced decision making, pressure and search for self.  This age is considered to be highly critical for an individual since in this age several hormonal as well as physiological changes take place. In today’s world, adolescent are performing acts that are highly similar to that of an adult. However, according to several researchers, there exist several differences between the brain of the teenagers as well as that of fully developed adults (Casey, 2011). However, several researchers believes that on arrival of his teenage, an individual develops enough capability to understand his or her responsibilities and poses full control over their decision making. Hence when it comes to serious criminal acts, an adolescent and an adult should be treated equally. Since, this is a globally emerging topic that requires attention, the aim of this essay is to To understand whether adolescents deserve to be tried as adults, it is imperative to understand the psychosocial development of adolescents. These include understanding growth and development, risk taking behaviors, and parenting influences. Research shows that growth development during adolescence is very dramatic (Petersen, 1988). Several factors both in support of treating adolescents as adults and vise versa will be discussed in this essay.

The essay will argue on factors that need to taken in consideration while deciding on penalty for crimes committed by adolescents. It would elaborate upon adolescents’ physical and cognitive development (particularly, the prefrontal cortex), along with the development of morality in the social context. In addition, by understanding social factors such as responsibility and perspective, the essay will aim to throw light into this complex judgment of whether adolescents should be treated as adults when involved in serious crimes. 

The First main Idea: Introduction of differences between being tried as an adolescent and adult, and the resulting consequences from it. 

The mantra that is often followed is “adult time for adult crimes” in criminology, but mitigation for adolescent offenders argues that adolescents are not culpable as adults as it is not an all-black or white concept (Scott & Steinberg, 2008). The penalty is also dependent on whether decision is passed in adult or minor courts as the latter involves more rehabilitation-based outcomes. 

Difference between Adolescent and adult mental and physical development

According to several researchers, the judgment of weather adolescents should be provided with the same punishment of that of an adult will completely depend on the severity of the crime. In cases where serve crime has been performed by juvenile and thus his or her presence will b highly dangerous for the rest of the society, the juvenile should be tried like an adult. However (Piaget, 1936) argued that in majority of cases where a serious crime has been performed by a adolescents it should be understood that high probability is there that the cruelty has built up in the teenager not by his or her choice but due to any kind of mental disorder. In such cases, physiological treatment of the criminal should be a better option compared to a prison. According to Schroeder, Osgood  & Oghia, 2010), lack of experience, lack of physical and physiological development and lack of strong sense of use and effect can be considered as other reasons behind discouraging  treatment of juvenile criminals as adults.

Second main Idea: Difference between Adolescent and adult mental and physical development

Developmental theories look at understanding within-individual factors that contribute to crimes such as cognitive decision making processes and brain development (Casey, 2011). 
Psychological influences such as early childhood temperaments, parenting styles also contribute to development of anti-social personality patterns in children that are often predictive of serious crimes. 

From time immemorial neurologists lists are trying to understand the brain of a teenager. As per the result obtained after intense result, there exist immense difference between the brain of an adolescent and that of an adult (Scott & Steinberg, 2008). Mental development can be defined as the development in psychology of an individual that take place through ages.

According to researchers, the development of sex hormones is highly responsible for the impulsive behavior during adolescence. Due to puberty, majority of the teenagers are found to be seeking emotionally charged activities as well as risk taking behavior. Along with the hormonal influence, several other reasons like sleep deprivation and emotional turbulence also results in making unethical or ineffective decisions by the teenagers. Steinberg & Morris, (2001) stated that teenagers should not be considered equivalent to adults in several aspects due to lack of complete physiological differences. Lack of sleep can also be considered as a crucial reason behind the difference in physiological structure between the teenagers and the adult. Sleep is a highly crucial factor during the adolescent years since major brain development takes place during the sleep due to the secretion of crucial growth hormone from the pituitary gland.

Understanding moral development theories- Piaget theory and Kohlberg’s theory

 The decision making procedures of teenagers are completely different from that of an adult due to the under-development of the prefrontal cortex of their brain. The Prefrontal cortex is the part where all the rational decisions are made The neuron located at the prefrontal cortex communicate with the neuron of other regions through synapses and thus playing a major role in controlling emotional responses, weighting choice sand making judgments. In case of adults, this region of the brain is fully developed and is connected to the decision making processes and judgments (Aggarwal et al., 2014).  However, the development f the mentioned part of brain takes a long time to complete that it begins with the puberty and stretches until the mid-twenties. Within the time it become highly challenging for an individual to control his or her emotional turbulence and take a decision that is ethical and appropriate given a particular scenario.

Salekin, Grimes & Adams, (2015) argued that since the development of prefrontal cortex initiates with the arrival of puberty, adolescents who are the verge of gaining adulthood are supposed to possess a developed prefrontal cortex compared to that of a teenager who have just hit puberty. Hence, while the latter should not be treated as an adult, the former should be treated as the same. Hence, adolescents who re close towards adulthood should be treated as an adult while those who have just hit puberty should be given more time.

Third main Idea: Understanding moral development theories- Piaget theory and Kohlberg’s theory

According to Piaget’s theory (1936) child has a mental model of the world and he argued that intelligence is a fixed trait and regarded that cognitive and moral development changed as they get older. According to Piaget, the adolescent years are remarkable because youth move beyond the limitations of concrete mental operations and develop the ability to think in a more abstract manner. It is time when moral values of an individual get developed and lack of which impose negative impact on the characteristic of the same. For instance, a child with high moral value is less likely to perform criminal act compared to a child who lacks moral values.

Sociological and cultural factors to be considered which involve environment the child grows up in such as incidences of abuse, trauma, crime in neighborhood, substance use disorders etc are increased risk for future crime behavior (Schroeder, Osgood, & Oghia, 2010; Steinberg & Morris, 2001). According to a survey, 89.3 percent of the juvenile criminals possess background that is comprised of trauma, abusive acts as well as substance abuse. Victims of violence are vulnerable to a constellation of outcomes including dissociation, substance abuse, depression, and PTSD   Prolonged exposure to physiologically unhealthy social development reduces humanity, moral values and ethics in an individual. Considering the fact that at adolescence an individual does not possess enough experience or mental development to fight against his circumstances and childhood memories, juvenile criminals are given minor punishments and a chance to rectify their acts (Guarino-Ghezzi, 2017).  

Conclusion

From the above discussion, it can be concluded that adolescents should not be treated at adults when it comes to juvenile criminal acts. The fact that that the physiological as well as physical state of an individual who is at his or her adolescence is not as well developed as that of an adult,  the crime committed by teenagers should be handled in a different way compare to that of an adult. Teenagers who have conducted criminal act should be provided to with moral values and a healthier society to live in so that they can obtain the chance of developing moral values and evolve as an adult with high ethics.

References

Aggarwal, R., Bandos, A., Reed, A. M., Ascherman, D. P., Barohn, R. J., Feldman, B. M., ... & RIM Study Group. (2014). Predictors of clinical improvement in rituximab?treated refractory adult and juvenile dermatomyositis and adult polymyositis. Arthritis & rheumatology, 66(3), 740-749.

Casey, S. (2011). Understanding Young Offenders: Developmental Criminology. The Open  Criminology Journal, 4(1), 13-22. 

Guarino-Ghezzi, S. (2017). Balancing juvenile justice. Routledge.

Peterson, A.C. (1988). Adolescent Development. Annual Review of Psychology, 39, 583-607. 

Piaget, J. (1936). The Origins of Intelligence in Children. (M, Cook, Trans.). New York, NY:  International Universities Press. 

Salekin, R. T., Grimes, R. D., & Adams, E. W. (2015). 13 Clinical Forensic Evaluations for Juvenile Transfer to Adult Criminal Court. Learning forensic assessment: Research and practice, 294.

Salekin, R. T., Grimes, R. D., & Adams, E. W. (2015). 13 Clinical Forensic Evaluations for Juvenile Transfer to Adult Criminal  Court. Learning forensic assessment: Research and practice, 294.

Schroeder, R.D., Osgood, A.K., & Oghia, M.J. (2010). Family Transitions and  Delinquency. Sociological Inquiry, 80(4), 579-604.

Scott, E.S., & Steinberg, L. (2008). Adolescent Development and the Regulation of Youth  Crime. Future Child, 18(2), 15-33. 

Steinberg, L., & Morris, A.S. (2001). Adolescent Development. Annual Review of  Psychology, 52, 83-110

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