When discussing juvenile delinquency, there is often a debate between those that believe behavior is the result of nature (biology) and those that believe behavior is a result of nurture (environment)

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When discussing juvenile delinquency, there is often a debate between those that believe behavior is the result of nature (biology) and those that believe behavior is a result of nurture (environment). Out of the theories we read this week, which theory offers the best explanation for juvenile delinquency and why?

Some people use choice theory to help understand why an individual might com mit criminal behavior.  Are there people who are compelled to commit crime, meaning that they have no choice?  Can anyone think of a situation where this might hold true?Is biology destiny?

 

2. In my opinion, I believe juvenile delinquency can fall under both categories, for example, my husband was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 9, and has been though some rough life situations, from having the wrong friends around, to getting in trouble with the law.  After we got married many people always thanked me for changing him, so one day I asked him if he had something to tell me and he told me he had ADHD.  And he was always the one to be picked on if him and his brother argued, or is anything went wrong. He felt isolated, and so relied on the streets to feel love, which led him to going to jail, and doing illegal substances. The book mentions how Delinquents are not the product of a bad environment or difficult life. They choose to commit crime because, they find violating the law attractive and not because they are a product of a broken home or troubled family (page59). I think, this information is false, of course; I do think that even if someone comes from a troubled home or bad environment you are not obligated to follow those footsteps. But what people do not understand is how these individuals are feeling inside. I do believe that both nature and nurture play a big role in juvenile delinquency. The theory that caught my attention was biosocial theories of delinquency, which is the focus on the association between biological makeup, environmental conditions, and antisocial behaviors. 

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When it comes to juvenile delinquency, some people believe that it is a result of a person’s environment, whereas others believe it stems from their nature.  I believe that the best theory that could describe juvenile delinquency would be the differential association theory, which was come up with by Edwin Sutherland.  Differential Association theory is described to occur when children learn from their peers and as a result of their surroundings.  For example, a child may adapt to stealing a Michael Kors bag at the shopping mall because they were out with their mother one evening and she snatched it, therefore they view nothing wrong with this picture considering a mother is supposed to be a role model.  Another example might be if a child grows up in a neighborhood that is full of crime, thus making it the only thing that they are used to.  All of their friends will most likely be criminals and they will morph into the crowd that they are surrounding themselves with.  It is a fact that the more criminal activity there is in one family, the more likely future offspring will also be a criminal (Welsh & Siegel, 2012).The choice theory was the first formal explanation that had stated crimes were committed based on a matter of choice, otherwise known as free will.  The only time that I believe a person may have to commit a crime because they have no other choice is if somebody else is attacking them and they need to defend themselves.  If a criminal is about to kill, rape, etc another individual and law enforcement is not present, the only way to survive is to try to figure out a way to stay alive, even if it means killing the criminal.  After all, that criminal was going to rot behind bars anyways and killing them off would be doing them a favor (Welsh & Siegel, 2012)

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