Juvenile Delinquency: Genetic or Environmental Essay example

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Juvenile Delinquency: Genetic or Environmental “Oh, well, I’ll end up in jail anyway! It’s in my genes!” This was the heartfelt declaration of a 15 year-old teen. Was it inevitable that he follow in his father’s footsteps on the path of delinquent behavior and subsequent brushes with the law? Was juvenile delinquency actually a by-product of genetics or could it be a product of “behavioral sink”- that environmental abyss that absorbs so many teens?

Definition of delinquency

Although arguable on both sides, environment clearly has the lead in determining juvenile behavior. The very definition of juvenile delinquency states: “Delinquency is a major social problem. Delinquents are likely to come from a background of
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A child is highly influenced by his family from the moment he is born. This is the first time he interacts with his surroundings. The family will be his primary source of influence during his pre-school years. That is the time when he develops sound coping skills. These skills will come into play when he becomes a teenager. In an excerpt from the family.org website, “one of the root causes of juvenile violence is family instability. This is one of the characteristics shared among the vast majority of violent juveniles. But, research has shown that in most cases, family stability can trump negative influences that might otherwise lead to a child’s violent behavior. Does a certain temperament lead to violent behavior? Do certain physical anomalies make some kids prone to violence more than others? Does a child’s physical or mental make up determine whether he will grow up to be a violent juvenile? The answer, according to the best research is “it depends”. It depends upon the child’s family. In the war against juvenile violence, research shows that there is no more effective weapon than a healthy family.”(J. Thomas, 2004) Although researchers vary in their research methods, there is a commonality evident in their findings. Family is the fabric that melds a teenager into a productive adult. Despite the many conflicts that a teen encounters on a daily basis, the functional family is always there to

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