In any given year there is an estimate three million runaways. Children run away from home for a number of different reasons; may be [they are] evading the law, suffering depression, or dealing with a personal crisis, most are running from a disturbed family or home life. (Siegel and Welsh, 2005) The adolescent's environment plays a key role in the child's potential delinquency. Children brought up in crime ridden communities or in homes where parental deviance is common are more likely to offend themselves than a child living in a safer or crime free environment.
The home is the primary location in which children learn values and morals. Deviant behavior is intergenerational; the children of deviant parents produce delinquent children themselves. (Siegel and Welsh, 2005) The same claim stands true for sibling criminal influence. The American family dynamic is changing. The so-called traditional familywith a male breadwinner and a female who cares for the homeis a thing of the past. No longer can this family structure be considered the norm. (Siegel and Welsh, 2005) Where it was once the only the mother and father who were the caregivers for the children, it is now blended families consisting of step-mothers and step-fathers helping to raise children.
[...] “Approximately 1,300 of these child victims died of abuse or neglect during the year 2001, a rate of 1.81 children per 100,000 children in the population.” (Siegel and Welsh, 2005) Children in abusive homes also have the tendency to become delinquent offenders and runaways, as those in abusive homes desperately seek a way out. However, the abuse can also be between the adults themselves when the parental abuser is physically assaulting the other parent or other adult. In cases of neglect and absentee parents, children go unwatched. Children are free to roam as they please and own the potential to fall victim to peer pressure. When the family structure crumbles, some children turn to crime as a result of peer pressure. [...]
[...] If parental guidance is not enough, than seeking the help of trained professionals may further help prevent delinquency. Professionals who specialize in children coping with divorced parents, blended families, abuse, or any of the other afflictions that affect so many children each year are available. Lists of professionals are available at many state offices such as the Department of Social Services. Sources Siegel, L. J. & Welsh, B. C. (2005). Juvenile delinquency: The core. [...]
[...] “Divorce is hard on the entire family, but it is extremely difficult for the children. “Family breakup is often associated with conflict, hostility, and aggression; children of divorce are suspected of having lax supervision, weakened attachment, and greater susceptibility to peer pressure.” (Siegel and Welsh, 2005) Some children find it difficult to bear witness to their mother or father entering into the dating scene post divorce. number of experts contend that a broken home is a strong determinant of a child's law-violating behavior.” (Siegel and Welsh, 2005) Life for the children post divorce must be readjusted from what they had once known and sometimes that process takes years of effort and work. [...]
[...] Gender Roles and Delinquency Gender plays a significant role in delinquency. Adolescent males are more likely to offend than adolescent females. However, “[s]exually abused girls share a significant risk of becoming violent over the life course.” (Siegel and Welsh, 2005) In terms of abuse and gender, cuts across racial and gender lines: males and females have almost equal abuse rates.” (Siegel and Welsh, 2005) A connection has also been identified between the gender of a child and divorce. Both genders have the likelihood of acting out in various ways as they search for a way to obtain attention and an outlet for the pain they feel as the divorce takes place. [...]
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