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Correlation of Substance Abuse with Juvenile Delinquency and Crime

Question:

Discuss about the Economic Factors on Juvenile Delinquents.

Substance abuse is the use of drugs either by adults or children (juveniles) in a manner that harms themselves or others within the surrounding (Eadie & Morley 2003). Juvenile delinquency, according to Nisar, et al. (2015), relates to the situation, where a child is found guilty of an offence or antisocial behavior which is beyond the control of the parents. In this case, the child is taken to the juvenile court to be charged. On the other hand, when adults (above 18 years) misuse drugs they are also taken to the adult court and charged as well.  A study conducted by Agnew, et al. (2008) shows that the correlation between the socioeconomic status of the people in Australia is negatively influenced by uncontrolled use of drugs. In fact, Eadie & Morley (2003) asserts that for the last 10 years has been experiencing low productivity and increase dependency ratio. The reports from the office of the US. Attorney indicates that crime has been on the rise for the past 10 years. In fact, according to a report published by CDC (2016), both juvenile and adult arrest accounted for 10.2% and 14.1% and these were associated to the increased crime violence in the country that stood at 26% above the minimum standard. In the same report, 695 juveniles aged below 18 years were arrested for murder, 21,993 for the aggravated assault and 2,745 for forcible rape in 2015. On the other hand, the report indicated that adult arrest accounted for murder (24,768) and assault (2,623). The cases and arrests show that the issue is becoming an epidemic in the society and this had promoted a lot of fear among the people from poverty.

According to the report prepared by UN (2017), there is an increasing number of violent cases associated to substance usage which are aggravated by the youths and adults in the society. Besides, less research study has been conducted by the scholars about the social and economic consequences of such activities to the society. Many scholars have done research related to the factors which contribute to the actions related to abuse of substance in Australia. In fact, the issue has been on discussion since the early 1920s, showing that it is an essential aspect of the community growth and the country at large. As early as 1927, Bridges (1927) had found that, neighborhood, occupational, school, home, mental conditions are among the factors leading to substance abuse. This study, therefore, is interested in finding the socioeconomic consequences of drug abuse among children and adults in Australia to the contemporary society. This will help the judicial system, the society and the potential juvenile offenders, to abstain from it, and become better and law abiding people in the society.

Factors that Contribute to Substance Abuse

The main purpose of this research study is to examine the socioeconomic consequences of drug abuse by either the minor or the adults in Australian society today. To assess the economic factors that causes the substance abuse among families.

The study seeks to the objective by answering the following questions.

  1. What causes substance abuse among children?
  2. What is the major effect of drug abuse in society?
  3. What causes substance abuse in adults?
  4. Have the use of drug substance affected the contact of the adults?
  5. How has the use alcohol or drug substance affected the contact of the adults?
  6. Name the main types of substance abuse
  7. Do you take any drug substance?
  8. Are you contemplating stopping the use of drugs?
  9. Do you need any help with regard to the use of drugs?
  10. Will you be willing to attend a rehabilitation center if provided?

Family plays an important role in controlling the young generation and ensuring that they operate as required by the law of a country. According to Alboukordi, et al. (2012), juvenile delinquency is a major problem in the contemporary society because, the actions affects both the victims, the perpetrators, the family of both the victim and the perpetrators and the society at large. The research by Alboukordi, et al. (2012) found that the structure of the family plays a major role in predicting the juvenile delinquency behavior. In fact, 51% of the delinquents, reported agony in the structure of their families. The study did not cover, how the delinquents affect their families, which will be covered in this report. According to Ferdoos & Ashiq (2015), juvenile delinquency is an old and recurrent phenomenon which has been worsened by the growth of urban development.

The study showed that there is an evidence of the general increase in the juvenile crimes in more and large developed cities. Though, Burgess (1952) accepts the fact that, low income is not the only source or single cause of juvenile delinquency, studies have shown that, the rise in family income, enables the families from the delinquency areas to non-delinquency ones. According to Nisar, et al. (2015), the coercion theory plays an important role in explaining the behavior of the minors. Juvenile delinquency is becoming a modern crime problem, according to Ojo (2012), some theories, have been used by sociologists to explain the incidences of delinquencies among the minors. The theories include rational choice theory, strain theory, subcultural theory, social control, differential association and labelling theory. For this study, labelling theory will be expounded to explain the juvenile crime behaviors.


According to Ojo (2012), ones the minors have been branded as criminals, they will be likely to cause offence. The idea behind this theory according to Eadie & Morley (2003), is that, when a person of group of people are branded to be criminals the community or the justice system, the individuals will begin to believe that the label they have and start identifying themselves with the tag. Ojo (2012) Further claims that, ones the individuals are labelled, they tend to act like social outcasts will lead them to rebel the norms to stand up with the identity. In fact, Walklate (2003) noted that children from the poor backgrounds are more likely to be branded deviants. This analysis by Walklate (2003), helps in explaining why a big number of juvenile delinquency happens in low-class society. The above literature analysis has helped in explaining the nature and causes of juvenile delinquency. However, its impact to the socioeconomic of the society has been tackled. This study will analyses the socioeconomic consequences of such actions to the society.

Impact of Drug Abuse on Families and Society

The study will employ the use of frequency tables to determine the level of agreement in terms of percentages by the respondent regarding the variables in question. This process will be chosen due to its simplicity interpretation and analyzing of the data by the researcher (Ojo  2012).

The study will also employ the use of primary data, because the data collected represent the real even and also cannot be contaminated (Ojo  2012). Therefore, questionnaires will be used to collect the data

The target population for the study will comprise 200 people and this will encompass both children and adult aged between 15 to 65 years to enhance the study relevancy. Therefore, stratified random sampling will be used to distinguish group of children and adults (Ojo  2012).

Strata

Frequency

Percentage (%)

Adult

123

61.5

Children

77

38.5

Total

200

100

The sample size of 30 will used based on percentage method that will represented by 15% of the total population. Ojo (2012) asserts that as ample size of 5% to 30% is acceptable to capture the interested of the population.

Strata

Population N

Factor

Size n

Percentage (%)

Adult

123

0.15

18.45

61.5

Children

77

0.15

11.55

38.5

Total

200

0.15

30

100

The study will strictly conform to the ethical research standards that require assurance of privacy and unanimity of the respondent. Kumar (2014) asserts that ethics as standard norms tend to guide our behaviors towards others and the environment. 

The section will help to present the data into frequency tables and percentages to help in interpretation and decision making for the researcher. The tables are as illustrated below.

According to the figure, majority of the respondents were male with over 50%

Frequency

Percent

Valid Percent

Cumulative Percent

Valid

Availability of income

14

43.8

46.7

46.7

peer pressure

8

25.0

26.7

73.3

lack of employment

8

25.0

26.7

100.0

Total

30

93.8

100.0

Missing

System

2

6.3

Total

32

100.0

The table shows that 46.7% of the adult interviewed indicated that lack of income was a major cause of the use of substance abuse. On the other hand, 26.7% of the adult interviewed indicated that pear pressure and lack of employment influenced their misuse of drugs.

Frequency

Percent

Valid Percent

Cumulative Percent

Valid

15-18 years

17

53.1

56.7

56.7

above 18 years

13

40.6

43.3

100.0

Total

30

93.8

100.0

Missing

System

2

6.3

Total

32

100.0

The table shows that for the total respondent, 56.7% were aged between 15 – 18 years (minor) while 43.3% of the people interviewed were aged above 18 years which represented the adults.  

                   Fig 5. What causes substance abuse among children?

Frequency

Percent

Valid Percent

Cumulative Percent

Valid

Luck of parental mentorship

10

31.3

33.3

33.3

Peer pressure

9

28.1

30.0

63.3

Influence by parents

11

34.4

36.7

100.0

Total

30

93.8

100.0

Missing

System

2

6.3

Total

32

100.0

The table shows that shows that influence by parents have a greater (36.7%) impact on the children to abusing drugs. Lack of parental mentorship follows closely with 33.3% while pear pressure accounts for 30% as factor those influences children to abuse drugs in the region. 

Frequency

Percent

Valid Percent

Cumulative Percent

Valid

Crime

12

37.5

40.0

40.0

school drop out

10

31.3

33.3

73.3

domestic violence

8

25.0

26.7

100.0

Total

30

93.8

100.0

Missing

System

2

6.3

Total

32

100.0

According to the table, crime takes a majority resultant effect of drug abuse in the society with 40% impact. School dropout and domestic violence on the other hand, follows closely with 33.3% and 26.7% impact respectively.

The figure shows that a majority of the respondents understood the cost implication of the substance abuse the society. 

Most of the respondents were aware of alcohol as the main substance abuse by over 50% in the region.

Over 40% of the respondents rated that alcohol as highly consumed drug in the area.

Majority of the respondent, over 50% indicated that use of alcohol and drug substance had increased family negligence by adults.

Majority of the respondents indicated that substance abuse had affected the contact of the adults in the society.

Over 50% of the respondents are contemplating stopping the use of drugs.

Do you need any help with regard to the use of drugs?

Frequency

Percent

Valid Percent

Cumulative Percent

Valid

yes

15

50.0

51.7

51.7

no

14

46.7

48.3

100.0

Total

29

96.7

100.0

Missing

System

1

3.3

Total

30

100.0

About 51.7% of the respondents need help regarding the use while 48.3% do not need help.

According to the figure, majority of the respondents are willing to attend the rehabilitation center.


Majority of the respondents, over 50% indicated that they do not take drugs.

The findings show that 46.7% and 26.7% of adults are driven into drug abuse due to increased income and unemployment level respectively. The findings also indicate that over 50% of the respondents were male. On the other hand, 36.7% and 33.3% of the children were influenced by the negligence of the parents to offer guidance and the peer pressure facto respectively. In fact, this misuse of substance contributes to 40% of the level of crime in the society. The crime rate was associated to juvenile delinquency (56.7%) and only 43.3% was associated to adults. On the other hand, majority of the respondents the cost implication of the substance abuse and that most of the adults had been affected with regards to contact and behaviors.

The study used limited amount of data and variables which may question the authenticity of the findings. Therefore, I recommend that more research should be done in this field to include more data and variables.

I would also recommend that strict measure to be put in place against alcohol brewing to remove the problem in the society. 

Conclusion

In summary, the objective of the study was reached due to the fact that all findings indicated that misuse of substance were a major cause to the criminal activities in the society. in fact, alcohol was the major drug substance which had majorly affected the adults. However, more research needs to be done to enhance the validity of the results.

Reference

Burgess, E. W. 1952. The Economic Factor in Juvenile Delinquency. Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, 29-42.

Agnew, R., Matthews, S. K., Bucher, J., Welcher, A. N., & Keyes, C. 2008. Socioeconomic status, economic problems, and deliquency. SAGE Journal.

Alboukordi, S., Nazari, A. M., Nouri, R., & Sangdeh, J. K. 2012. Predictive Factors for Juvenile Delinquency: The Role of Family Structure, Parental Monitoring and Delinquent Peers . International Journal of Criminology and Sociological Theory, 770-777.

Bridges, K. M. 1927. Factors Contributing to Juvenile Delinquency. Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, 531-580.

CDC. (2016). Youth Violence. CDC.

Eadie, T., & Morley, R. 2003. Crime, Justice and Punishment’ in Baldock. Oxford : University Press.

Ferdoos, A., & Ashiq, A. 2015. Impact of Urbanization on Juvenile Delinquency: A Study of Muzaffarabad Jail. International Journal of Criminology and Sociological Theory, 1014.

Nisar, M., Ullah, S., Ali, M., & Alam, S. 2015. Juvenile Delinquency: The Influence of Family, Peer and Economic Factors on Juvenile Delinquents. Applied Science Reports, 37-48.

Ojo, M. O. 2012. A SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW OF ISSUES ON JUVELINE DELINQUENCY. The Journal of International Social Research, 468-482.

  1. 2017. Juvenile DELINQUENCY. United Nations.

Walklate, S. 2003. Understanding Criminology – Current Theoretical Debates. : Open University Press.

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