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Maria comes from a poor family background where family members including her have been facing severe financial problems. She has also been facing abusing treatment at home. In such circumstances, she developed stealing habit to have food and shelter for her because she was totally neglected by her family members.
Many juvenile offenders share similar characteristics. Some of the most common factors associated with juvenile offenders are social environment, socioeconomic status, criminal subculture, and broken homes among others. No one is bad or good – it is the environment or the conditions that make one vulnerable to such characteristics.
In addition, there are numerous and interwoven complex factors causing juvenile delinquency.
Social factors: As children grow up, they are exposed to a number of risk factors that may increase their risk for problems such as drug abuse, and engaging in delinquent behavior. The same thing happened in case of 12-year old Maria. She was forced to indulge in one of such activities.
Family: This is one of the most important factors influencing delinquent behavior. It is within the family where the child internalizes those basic beliefs, values, attitudes, and general pattern of behavior that give directions to the subsequent behavior. Since Maria’s family was struggling financially, she developed an attitude towards stealing in order to meet her basic needs.
Social class: This is another one of the most important factors influencing juvenile delinquency. Socioeconomic status is a major contributing factor in delinquency. This socioeconomic status greatly contributed in Maria’s life, as she belonged to background where she faced family violence and financial problems.
In addition, age and gender play a significant role in influencing juvenile offenders. It has been found that children between the ages of 10 to 18 are more vulnerable. Though male offenders are more common, female offenders are also there in the society and the rate of percentage is gradually increasing gradually.