Reasons and results of crime among youth
Juvenile delinquency is a problem that is currently affecting populations all over the world. Understanding juvenile delinquency is important to make the masses understand what it really means and how to react to it. When deviant behaviour becomes continuous, chronic and widespread it gets perceived a as a significant part of the population as threatening to the general wellbeing of the society. Juvenile delinquency is a bio-psycho-social phenomenon, the concept is clear cut. Legally speaking the definition differs across countries. In many European countries, a minor is legally considered a delinquent if his breach of the penal code is an offence for the entire population whereas in the US, an individual is considered a delinquent if a number of behaviours are depicted: truancy from school, disobedience to parents, consumption of alcohol, and smoking at institutions all are considered juvenile offences.
Juvenile delinquency, also known as juvenile offending, is participation in illegal behaviours by minors/individuals younger than the statutory age of maturity. Juvenile crime in law denotes various offences committed by children or youth under age 18. These acts are referred to as juvenile acts. Psychologically proven, delinquents form a well defined group in the society and considered socially maladjusted mainly because of the socio-cultural differences. The social maladjustment and lack of adaptation is due to constitutional, endogenous, sociological and biological reasons. The existence of antisocial behavioural traits against which defences are built to prevent their manifestations, sometimes however under continuous or temporary pressure, these defences are overwhelmed that lead to delinquent behaviour. These antisocial personality traits are present mainly in individuals with disrupted superegos.
Antisocial personality disorder is thus characterised by a long-standing pattern of a disregard for other people’s rights, often crossing the line and violating those rights
According to a prominent psychiatric theory of delinquency, known as the “superego lacunae” theory, children have lacunae in their superego and due to the parental projection of their difficulties and various pressures onto the children allow them to receive vicarious pleasures from delinquent acts.
Antisocial personality disorder is thus characterised by a long-standing pattern of a disregard for other people’s rights, often crossing the line and violating those rights. It usually begins in childhood or as a teen and continues into their adult lives. Individuals with antisocial personality disorder frequently lack empathy and tend to be callous, cynical, and contemptuous of the feelings, rights, and sufferings of others. They may have an inflated and arrogant self-appraisal. Children with juvenile tendency have antisocial personality traits which makes them heartless and insensitive towards life in general.
Psychoanalytic theories of delinquency, however, suggest that deviant behaviour of youth could be a result of unresolved instincts and drives within the human psyche. When all of these unsettled drives are in conflict, delinquent behaviour may occur and the individual indulges in offences that are not accepted by society. These delinquent offences are more rampant in societies where rapid population growth, poverty, unemployment and underemployment of children, unavailability of housing and other support services, overcrowding in urban areas, disintegration among people of the high and low socio-economic status, and ineffective educational systems are among some of the pressures the youth is dealing with.
The intensity and severity of juvenile offences are determined by the social, economic and cultural conditions prevailing in a country
Unfortunately, Pakistan is among countries where the rate of juvenile delinquency is relatively high. The intensity and severity of juvenile offences are determined by the social, economic and cultural conditions prevailing in a country. Other than these, two largest predictors of juvenile delinquency are parenting styles and peer group association, predominantly with antisocial peer groups especially when adolescents are left unsupervised. Low socioeconomic status and poor school performance also directs a child towards delinquency. It is seen that high levels of serotonin gives an individual a difficult temper, poor self regulation and low resting rate which makes them fearless. Moreover, children with criminal siblings are more likely to be influenced by them and there is a chance that they start to follow the footsteps of the delinquent sibling.
The juvenile justice system in Pakistan deals with the crimes committed by the children and a large number of them are imprisoned. Delinquency in our country is a group phenomenon and also termed as male phenomenon because male juveniles out number females. The causes of juvenile crime are usually found at each level of the social structure, including society as a whole, social groups and organisations. Juveniles’ choice of delinquent careers and the subsequent perpetuation of delinquency are fostered by a wide range of factors that should be addressed by the government and all the governing bodies. Policy makers should work towards better policies incorporated in the juvenile justice system. Preventing juvenile delinquency requires individual, group and organisational efforts aimed at keeping adolescents from indulging into various crimes and by educating the families and communities as a whole.
Ayesha Fakhar its an excellent article can you explain the reasons of juvenile crimes in Pakistan in detail. Thanks.
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