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Conduct Problems in Youth: Sociological Perspectives

  • Donald J. Shoemaker
Chapter

Abstract

Within the field of sociology, conduct problems are often described in terms of juvenile delinquency. Juvenile delinquency is a legal term with social implications. Often, delinquent behavior represents an effort of a youth to handle a difficult situation in his or her life, but with behavior which has been proscribed by legislative action. Most legal definitions of delinquency include at least two concepts: (a) the commission of criminal behavior by youth; and (b) the commission of behavior which is unlawful for youth but not for adults. These latter offenses are termed status offenses (Shoemaker, 2009). Thus, juveniles can commit actions which would be a crime for anyone to commit, as well as behaviors which are prohibited solely because of underage status. Typically, the age of majority for establishing delinquency is age 18. The age of majority means when one becomes an adult in terms of legal responsibilities; that is, when one is legally an adult. One important benefit as a legal adult is the right to vote. Within this ­chapter, general patterns of crime and delinquency will sometimes be referred to as criminality. Studies of delinquency from sociological perspectives may include both formal assessments of delinquency, as represented by police, court, and institutional data, as well as informal accounts of delinquency, which include observational and self-report data.

Keywords

Criminal Behavior Delinquent Behavior Social Bond Social Disorganization Juvenile Court 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer New York 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Donald J. Shoemaker
    • 1
  1. 1.Virginia TechBlacksburgUSA

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