Strain Theory- An Explanation For Juvenile Delinquency Developed By Robert

1055 Words5 Pages
Kasey Covington

22 October 2014

Prof. Joshua Wakeham

I. Identifications

1. Strain Theory- An explanation for juvenile delinquency developed by Robert

Merton in 1957. The Strain Theory focuses on the idea that Americans are

expected to meet certain economic and social goals. Those who lack the

means to carry out these goals turn to illegal ways to do so. Though this

is true for many juveniles living below their means, the theory does not

explain nonviolent crimes like white collar crimes. Also, many youth have

opportunities but decline to take part in them. (Class notes 10/10 Slide 8)

2. Cognitive Behavioral Approach/Theory refers to the way that juveniles interpret the world around them. Problematic thinking leads to problematic behaviors. Having these thoughts eventually leads to a warped process of thinking ie. rationalization, minimization of harm, and severe victimization complex. (Class notes 10/10 Slide 15)

3. Classical School of Criminology- a just system of punishment for crimes coined by Ceasar Beccaria. Beccaria believed that humans acted on free will and commited crimes to satisfy their pleasure principle. This system was used to develop a fairer, more just and more effective system of criminal justice, but lacked in considering the age and cognitive clarity of juvenile offenders. (Shoemaker 2013: pp.62-63)

4. Broken Homes theory is one of the oldest, most popular explanations of delinquency. It refers to the broken family structure of juvenile
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