What Are Causes of Juvenile Delinquency?

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There are numerous causes of juvenile delinquency, including domestic violence, living in areas of poverty and high crime rates, inadequate social support and lack of access to education. Juvenile delinquency affects male and female youths, although the majority of offenders are young men. Juvenile delinquency affects youths in all areas, but occurs primarily in inner city areas and regions dominated by low income levels and where resources for supporting physical and emotional growth are limited.

Among the youth offenders in the United States, juvenile delinquents from inner city areas comprise the majority of the population. Most offenders are male and identify with minority groups. Juvenile offenders range in age from 12 to 17 years, and become incarcerated for a variety of reasons. Children who commit crimes often do so in reaction to personal problems or wider social issues. Children under the age of 18 are susceptible to influences, positive and negative, from peers, adults and educational instructors.

In response to negative influences, such as domestic violence at home and pressure from gangs, youths may resort to committing crimes. In response to acts of violence, most youths are incarcerated for a period of time, and may then perform community service or other positive acts to benefit others. Sometimes youths adopt positive behaviors after incarceration, and use their experiences to serve as role models for other troubled youths.