Youth Crime: A Common Phenomenon

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Youth crime: a common phenomenon

Youth crime is a social phenomenon that has taken place in different stages of history and has been studied interdisciplinaryly through criminology, sociology, anthropology, psychology, biology, etc. However, in the last decades, it has worsened, presenting a quantitative and qualitative increase that has made it a problem that undermines the good customs and norms established by society, so that persistence has been made inThe subject, thus deepening your study.

In principle, the theoretical bases will be reviewed on which the crime of minors is supported, with the aim of knowing and understanding its importance and social involvement, while the main factors involved in the appearance of criminal behavior will be addressed, especiallyof adolescents, to get to understand what drives them to express these behaviors. Regarding this, it is considered necessaryIt is conditioned by the antecedent of childhood marked by abuse and/or lack of family attention.

Second, allusion to the different lifestyles of todaydrugs, family fabric destructuring, growing competitiveness, etc., it encourages these boys to opt for crime in response to social frustration and as a survival mechanism. In addition, there will be an overview about the so -called information society, where the forms of social interaction are mediated by the use and consumption of new technologies, thus having established a process of transformation that has decisively influenced the social practices ofindividuals. It has also been of interest, deepening the obvious shortage of ethical principles in adolescents today, a consequence of the insufficiency of the educational role in the transmission of values, demonstrating that the absence of these leads to bad behavior

Likewise, the description of the profile of the minor offender and the existing crimeand/or eradication of antisocial and criminal behaviors in adolescents, which constitute a potential threat to the proper functioning of society.

In general, this phenomenon will be addressed with its characteristics and implications for the individual himself and for the whole society, and some action procedures that involve the increase in social awareness in the family, educational and community, to provide these are proposed to provide them with theseguys from the values and social competences necessary for the proper development of their behaviors.

To address this theme, a theoretical-conceptual methodology was used through the review, research and analysis of the various sources of information broken down into magazines, documents, books, publications, studies, web pages, international investigations, among others, on youth crimeas part of a new civilization of family conflicts, social change and economic development of a globalized society that leads to reflect on violence and its relationship and impact on youth. A first part was to identify the subject to be addressed, together with the establishment of the sections to be included, followed by the exhaustive and integrative review of the existing bibliography and the analysis and interpretation of the same, favored by the previous knowledge acquired throughout theMaster.

The present work is focused on a correct performance of professional practice, since it allows the knowledge and experiences acquired in this area, to be applied later to the labor field. This is a challenge that translates into a great opportunity to demonstrate skills and for the increase in professional skills.


The general objective of this work is to deepen the phenomenon of youth crime as a social evil that is necessary to combat for the proper development and functioning of society.

1.1.3 specific objectives:

Specifically understand the factors involved in the appearance of deviated behaviors in adolescents, know what drives them to express these behaviors, seek proposals and prevention strategies oriented towards the improvement of the quality of life of the adolescent and the population in general. All this in the best interest in applying the knowledge acquired in the professional field.

1.1.4 Theoretical justification

Youth crime constitutes one of the most important criminological problems on international scale since the last century, and has increased over time, becoming an evil that affects not only the subject itself that is part of the crime, but also that itIt implies the whole society. Throughout history, various theories have been raised to explain their origin, from several approaches and scientific currents, based on empirical research and proven studies, differentiating in several groups according to the characteristics of each.

Some biological and bio-social explanations with a history of 18th century physiognomists claimed that criminal behavior was caused by some internal mechanism of the individual. It was considered that the facial features of humans managed to reveal their personality and therefore their criminal trends. There were also considerations that leaned towards a hereditary component of crime, pointing out that it was biologically transmitted from parents to children, although it could not be determined how these hereditary factors marked the behavior. The truth is that these theories were based on very weak studies in terms of scientific verification and logic, since they did not consider that some criminal features could be learned or result from a social reaction. (Blanco, 2020) See the year of this reference

It is important to clarify that there is no theory that can definitively explain this phenomenon, so the investigations are still open. As part of the literary review carried out in this work, it is intended to specifically describe some of those that are currently used to explain youth crime, leaving aside its total historical evolution to obtain a more complete vision of the subject of the subject ofstudy.

Theory of tension

This theory has its origins in the works of Emile Durkheim in the 19th century and Robert K. Merton in the mid -twentieth century, being reviewed later by Robert Agnew (1985 and 2012). In its current formulation it suggests that frustration, anger or anger are negative feelings that can be caused by tension, and that crime can become the way to evacuate such feelings. In contemporary language the word commonly used to describe this state is usually stress. This theory explains that the frustration of not being able to achieve objectives such as money, status, strong and exciting sensations typical of the adolescence stage, autonomy, among others, can generate anger and that this could be released through thecommission of a crime. In turn, another explanation that is given, is about the presence of certain negative stimuli such as rejection, abuse or negligence by parents, school abuse or discrimination of other classmates, the breakdown of a love relationship, etc., Or the absence of positive stimuli such as good relationships with parents, friends and teachers, can also become a source of frustration and anger that many young people feel they can channel through the crime.

The theory of tension tries to provide explanations that determine some causes of the appearance of criminal acts in adolescents, however, this can generate opposite ideas, as is the case that the possibility that each circumstance described, that is, the objectivesNot achieved and the appearance of negative stimuli or the absence of positive stimuli, instead of leading to the commission of crimes as an escape to frustration, it manifests itself through behaviors that can benefit society as a whole, such as cooperating in activitiesvolunteers, empathize with other people, participate in conventional activities, etc., so that these acts are beneficial instead of harmful.

Social Learning Theory

This theory has its origin in the first half of the twentieth century, formulated in principle by criminologist Edwin Sutherland (1947), later was under the influence of Albert Bandura’s works and was finally updated by Robert Burgess and Ronald Akers. This explains that all behavior is learned and as such, criminal behavior is also. However, investigations do not allow to elucidate whether criminal friends really cause crime or if the fact of being involved in these acts leads the subject to relate to people of the same condition. As models that promote the learning of criminal behaviors according to this theory are the groups of people closest to the individual, called primary groups and the mass media. In the first, the family, friends and classmates, as well as the neighbors of the neighborhood;And among the mass media highlights the influence of the Internet, video games, smartphones, cinema and television.

Control theory

This theory was developed by Travis Hirschi in 1969, and was known as social control theory or social ties. This bases that the main social ties are attachment, commitment, participation and values, and that these act as barriers or controls that prevent or hinder the commission of antisocial acts. According to this theory, teenagers less prone to crime would be those who have links with conventional society. In 1990, the same developer of social control theory, together with Gottfredson developed a second theory known as self-control theory, indicating that people with a level of low self-control are more susceptible to yield to temptation that cause them the opportunities ofcommit crimes, and for this they have corroborated that criminals have difficulty defer gratifications. In this sense, this theory becomes especially important, taking into consideration that common crimes produce immediate benefits, although in the long term they can engender negative consequences. The level of self-control would be strongly influenced by education received during childhood and would remain relatively stable throughout life. 

Labeling theory

This theory is inspired by symbolic interactionism and studies the social reaction to deviated behaviors, that is, the way in which society responds to these behaviors. The own existence of regulations assume that the commission of criminal acts constitutes a violation and, consequently, those who commit these acts will be classified with the criminal label.

He explains that the perception of an individual is formed in interaction with others and on many occasions people end up behaving according to the way they are perceived. Adolescents in conflict with the law according to this theory will be labeled as criminals and perceived as dangerous or problematic, and consequently they are usually rejected by those around them, being able to cause them to accept their criminal label and that they persist in these behaviorsand even that there is a quantitative increase in crimes committed. This reaction of rejection by society conditions adolescents to look for friends among groups with their same characteristics, thus limiting their possible link with the members of conventional society.

Around 1990, the researchers already had sufficient data to elaborate dissimilar theories about the evolution of crime, thus reaching the development of others such as, the theory of the course of life, which separated crime into two models, in the firstplace, limited to adolescence and as another model, persistent crime throughout life. To explain the characteristics of these two groups, another hypothesis, called, general theory of youth crime, which combined assumptions of other empirical research and empirical investigations was proposed. Other called situational theories, theories of daily activities, among others, were also elaborated, among others.

The evolutionary nature of crime, to some extent, was forgotten by traditional theories, so the new theorists tried to explain how this phenomenon was produced and developed from the first years of life, coming to consider that the most serious behaviors were more seriousThey are brewing from an early age, considering that family experiences and certain individual predispositions generate maladaptive behaviors in the subject, even before access to school education, these behaviors being, the first antecedent of criminal activity.

As can be seen, there have been numerous contributions through various studies carried out by several authors, scientists and researchers, who have contributed to the development and analysis of youth crime. In this way, many challenges have been overcome, give meaning to the facts and direct the work of prevention and intervention of deviated behaviors, however, given their complex nature, currently the continuous debate open open.            

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