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Chapter 8 Notes

by: Michela Spicer

Chapter 8 Notes CJ 240

Michela Spicer

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These notes cover what was discussed in class regarding chapter 8.
Juvenile Delinquency
Joshua Wakeham
Class Notes
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This 8 page Class Notes was uploaded by Michela Spicer on Sunday October 16, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to CJ 240 at University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa taught by Joshua Wakeham in Summer 2015. Since its upload, it has received 4 views. For similar materials see Juvenile Delinquency in Criminal Justice at University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa.

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Date Created: 10/16/16
The Family and Delinquency  KEY: the connection between family problems and delinquency is strong. Why?  Multiple possible pathways from the family to delinquency  How delinquency arises from the family is not straightforward- it could be more than one factor  Practical considerations: different theories/explanations suggest different kinds of interventions The Family-Delinquency Pathways  Genetics  Family structure  Family breakup  Family conflict  Family competence  Family Deviance  Abuse/neglect Biological Argument  Do parents pass on criminal tendencies through genes? oGenetic components to behavior  Aggression; IQ; Personality; Psychopathy? oSome traits appear to be passed on, but genes aren’t destiny Nurture, Not Nature  Most research focuses on different aspects of the family environment oFamily structure  KEY: different structures present different kinds of problems- some structures work better than others, on average  Different types of family structures:  “Traditional” nuclear families  Single-parent families (87% single mothers)  Blended families  Cohabiting parents- “Fragile Families”  Same-sex families oFamily breakup  Research: secure marriages produce self-confident, independent children  Family  main source of informal social control  “Broken Homes” – divorce, separated- strong connection to delinquency  “Blended families” less stable than families with two biological parents  Research: abuse more likely with live in boyfriend or stepfather  Costs of family breakup on children:  Behavior problems, hyperactivity  Boys more affected by father’s absence  Girls more affected by mother’s parenting and post-divorce conflict  Children from cultures with lower divorce rates often experience worse outcomes  Every divorce is different  Low paternal involvement  problems  Separating from deviant fathers  positive  Role of pre- and post- divorce conflict  Role of post-divorce parental behavior oFamily conflict  Research: child’s perception of parental happiness a strong predictor for delinquency  Witness of intrafamily or domestic violence associated with delinquent behavior  Which is worse: divorced parents or married, miserable parents?  Research: amicable divorce better than intact, fighting family oFamily competence  Quality of parenting matters tremendously  Protective factor even for “at risk” youth  What does good parenting look like?  Involves honesty, empathy, kindness, cooperation, self-control, and cheerfulness  Promotes intellectual curiosity, academic success, motivation to learn, and desire to succeed  4 key factors according to psychological research  Clarity- setting clear example (“do as I do”)  Consistency- in applying rules  Flexibility- adaptive to individual children’s needs  Love- warm, physical affection oFamily deviance  Most research: how family unintentionally encourages delinquency  Deviant or criminal behavior from family members can also drive delinquent behavior  Parental incarceration  Sibling delinquency  Parental criminality oAbuse and neglect  Child abuse: any physical, emotional, or sexual trauma to a child, including neglecting to give proper care and attention, for which no reasonable explanation can be found  Neglect: passive neglect by a parent or guardian, depriving children of food, shelter, health care, and love  Duration matters- not usually a one time event  Brief history  Legal privacy/rights of parents to raise children as they see fit  1874: Nurse Etta Wheeler; concerted efforts to recognize abuse  1962: C. Henry Kempe and battered child syndrome  Types of abuse  Physical abuse  Emotional abuse  Sexual abuse  Types of neglect  Physical neglect  Educational neglect  Emotional/psychological neglect  Medical neglect  Abandonment  Causes of Child Abuse and Neglect  Parents who suffered abuse as children  Unrealistic/developmentally inappropriate expectations  Presence of an unrelated adult (ex: step parents)  Isolated and alienated families  Substance abuse  Social class Delinquency and Family Structure  Single parent households generally result in worse outcomes for kids o Locked-up delinquents and criminals much more likely to come from single-parent homes o Children from single-parent homes do worse on most behavioral and well-being measures compared to their two- parent family counterparts  KEY: why might this be the case? Decline of Marriage  Increase in out-of-wedlock births (CDC 2014 Report): o40.2% of all births in U.S. o29.3% of white, non-Hispanic o70.9% of black, non-Hispanic o52.9% of Hispanic o16.4% of Asian/Pacific Islanders  Generally, these rates have been increasing over the last 40 years  Research indicates out-of-wedlock births more concentrated among oYoung oPoor oLess-educated  How do broader social and economic trends shape family structure?  Is this a cultural problem? Is marriage becoming too difficult of a milestone to reach for the poor and working class? Teenage Motherhood  Teenage motherhood has especially strong connection to delinquency o90% of teens unmarried oPoverty oOther social, personal problems Beyond Structure  Family structure matters, but it is not the only issue oMost children from single parents will do fine oMany children from two-parent families have problems  What else matters? oFamily dynamics Discipline and Punishment  Another key part of good parenting: appropriate discipline and punishment oDiscipline: rules, routines, behavioral expectations oPunishment: consequences for breaking rules  The problem with discipline: oToo strict, too harsh  potential problem oToo lax, non-existent  potential problem oInconsistent  potential problem oWhat works?  Consistency; not too strong; suitable and fair supervision; close and warm affection; strong family cohesiveness  Does spanking and corporal punishment work? o Common refrain: “if we could only hit our kids like we could in the good ol’ days, then we wouldn’t have so many problems!”  Research: several problems with spanking oOften escalates into physical abuse o Children who are spanked are: more aggressive; more likely to be bullies; more likely to use violence to solve problems o Frequent spanking  long-term negative impact  More likely to be delinquent or criminal  KEY: simply doesn’t work- doesn’t change children’s misbehavior  Frequent verbal assaults and abuse can do more psychological damage than physical assault  “Coercion model” of parenting  lead to conflict, hostility, rebelliousness  Argumentative style + ineffective control over child  can lead to delinquency  KEY: emotional, relational styles learned in the family often carry over into the outside world, leading to more problems Supervision Problems  Poor or inconsistent supervision associated with delinquency: oMother’s employment oBig families oBirth order- middle children Legacies of Crime  KEY: criminal parents are more likely to produce delinquent children  Giordano’s (2010) longitudinal study of delinquents/criminals and their children oSocial process view Intergenerational Transmission  Direct transmission oParents directly instruct children in criminal behavior oExamples:  Using drugs together  Instructing/pushing child to fight, “to get respect”  Taking child along on criminal ventures  Indirect transmission o Children learn from observing their parents’ criminal behavior; parents may be actually trying to hide it from them o Key finding: criminal parents rarely tell children about their criminal activity o Examples:  Drunkenness  Drug use  Money/possessions going missing  Awareness of contraband in home Growing up with a Criminal Perspective  Criminal parents may also transit anti-social attitudes, values, and habits of mind to their children o“Gotta get what’s yours!” o“Don’t let anyone disrespect you!” o“It ain’t stealin’- they can afford it” oUsing drugs/alcohol to “take the edge off” Family Dynamics  Giordano  role of emotion in these intergenerational relationships oEmbarrassment oAnger oSadness/isolation  Many children of criminals “parent” their parents Identification  Lessons (direct/indirect) + emotions  identity oKEY: am I like or unlike my parent?  “You’re just like your mom/dad” “You’re making the same mistakes I did” o Even with negative emotions towards parents  feel fated to a life of crime  “I am not my mother/father” oNegative perception of parent drives some to “success” oKEY: success is relative with criminal parents The Child Protection System  State Intervention- when and how does it happen?  Troxel vs. Granville (2000): affirms fundamental right of parents regarding care, custody, and control of children without unnecessary government interference; ensures due process protections in place  Santosky vs. Kramer (1982): affirms right of child to be free from parental abuse and set down guidelines for termination of custody hearing, including right to legal representation  Balancing-of-the interests approach oRights of the parents- protections against unfair accusations oRights of the child- protections against abuse and neglect  What does this look like in practice? o“Procedures vary from state to state” oChild Protection Services often handles initial investigation o If investigative caseworker substantiates claim, may hand over case to law enforcement  Even when compelling evidence found, CPS often involves family in voluntary treatment  In extreme cases, the child may be immediately removed from home oParents have right to a hearing oGPS must notify court immediately- 12-24 hours in some states o Advisement hearing: preliminary hearing of facts to determine if removal justified and notify parents of charges against them  At the advisement hearing oParents have right to an attorney oIn many states, child has right to own attorney- guardian and litem oParents can admit to charges- consent decree oParents can deny charges  pretrial conference  Trial o Court decides whether abuse/neglect allegations supported by evidence o Adversarial process o 10 out of 100 cases go to trial  Disposition oSocial service agency makes recommendations oWhat will happen to children o What will happen to parents- about 50% of convicted parents serve time  Review hearing Abuse, Neglect & Delinquency  14% of men in prison abused as children  36% of women in prison abused as children  Children who experience abuse and neglect o59% more likely to be arrested as a juvenile o28% more likely to be arrested as an adult o30% more likely to be arrested for a violent crime  Abused children are 25% more likely to experience teen pregnancy  30% of abused children will go on to abuse their own children  80% of 21 year olds who were abused as children met criteria for at least one psychological disorder  More than 5 children a day die from abuse  80% of children who die from abuse are under 4 years old


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