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Warning Signs: just what are the causes of juvenile delinquency?

Juvenile delinquency does not occur suddenly, rather there are a series of incidents that cause violent behavior in teenagers. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention conducted a survey in 2011 on risk behavior of youths and found out that 16.6% of high school students carry a weapon, while 7.4% students reported that they have been threatened or injured with a weapon. Stats like that can make any parent worry. 

Researchers have found out that delinquency can be the result of prolonged abuse of the child himself or others around him. At times, this show of aggression, is merely to defend or protect themselves. It, however, leads to bullying and victimization of other children, often these children are their own sibblings. Therefore, it is necessary that parents look out for signs of juvenile delinquency at the onset of aggression so that they can take steps to modify their teen’s behavior at the right stage.

Teen’s early childhood history

A child’s history plays an important role in identifying his/her future behavior and conduct. Some of the factors which may become the source or exacerbate violent behavior in teens are:

  • Abusive parents and violence at home
  • Parents fighting with each other
  • Early childhood abuse – physical, sexual and verbal
  • Neglected by parents
  • Divorce or separation of parents
  • Family that encourages use of aggression
  • Cruelty towards animals
  • Mental illness by birth or accident
  • Lack of empathy towards humans and animals
  • Fascination with fires
  • Damaging property and goods when angry
Escalation of violence over time

Sometimes juvenile delinquency is also caused by certain events which have taken place in the past. The behavioral changes due to these incidents are slow and can be observed over time. Some of them are:

  • Drug or alcohol abuse
  • Becoming member of a violent gang
  • Fascination with weapons
  • Access to weapons, particularly guns
  • Anger issues escalated due to substance abuse
  • Withdrawing from friends and isolating oneself
  • Fear of rejection and being ridiculed
  • Inability to cope with societal norms
New signs of violence

There are some signs which appear suddenly. Critical observation is required to deal with such symptoms. Some of them are:

  • Death of a loved one
  • Increase in aggressive behavior
  • Increase in risk-taking behavior
  • Deterioration of mental health
  • Attempted suicide
  • Expressing feelings of revenge or threatening others
  • Carrying a weapon to school and outdoors
  • Missing school

Juvenile delinquency is the result of several symptoms which occur in different phases of teenagers’ lives. If the causes of juvenile delinquency are checked earlier in life, then any form of deviant behavior can be prevented.