3 Causes of Juvenile Delinquency

Content Outline 

  1. Introduction
  2. Causes of Juvenile Delinquency 
  3. Conclusion 

A single factor is not the sole responsible factor of delinquency. It is an effect of various factors like poverty, economic condition, poor living conditions, lack of education, surroundings, bad company etc. The natural factors are biological, psychological, and emotional.  According to B.K. Bhattacharya, “there is much to do... to remove growling poverty, to mend broken and disorganized homes, to abolish slums with their worsening situation and to alleviate miseries of the millions of refugees. The young people do not get adequate guidance or good example from the grownups. In an atomic age, an age of violence, when robber nations care little for humanity, with ethics shattered and ideals fallen, immediate gratification is sought, leaving tomorrow to take care of itself. 

3 important  Causes of Juvenile Delinquency 

Juvenile delinquency takes place in different ways and it may vary in degree, frequency and seriousness and involves different forms like theft, pickpocketing, drug addiction, sex offences, predatory acts etcThe child being future of the country should be given a good environment and good moral teachings which make him a responsible and wise citizen of the country. Nowadays the juvenile delinquents indulge in committing serious nature of offences as adults which including theft, robbery, dacoity, murder and even rape. No single cause has been attributed for the cause of Juvenile delinquency, there are innumerable causes basically, and causes of Juvenile delinquency are of three types. 

  1. Biological  
  2. Socio-Environmental  
  3. Physiological and personal 
Biological Causes

1-Ocular Ailments- It leads to irritability causing emotional instability and discomfort among children. Moreover, this may prevent them from acquiring sufficient knowledge hampering them from leading a normal life.
2. Nose and throat problem:-This may cause weakness and discomfort and may result in dislike-meant for work and school bunking. Obstructed breathing may result in mouth breathing and may, thus, give an appearance of inefficiency in worK.
3- Hearing Problem-Such as deafness or difficulty in hearing makes the person concerned incapable for any particular work. His efficiency is greatly decreased which adversely affects his ability to work and he depends on others which may lead to antisocial behaviour. 
4-Speech Problem - An individual with a speech problems is pitted or laughed at in society. Due to this feeling of inferiority may be developed which may lead to a desire to make up in criminal acts. 5. Enuresis: It involves a disorder of functions of the bladder. Sometimes it discomforts and even some time may lead to delinquency. 
6-Irritation: Irritation caused by ailments such as different types of allergies, eczema, and irritation of sexual organs is also a significant factor resulting in delinquency.
7-Headache: It may cause irritation of temperamental though rarely may result in some sort of out burst.


1-Mobility-It is the major factor which is liable for crime causation in society. Nowadays communication and travel facilities have become easy due to industrialization and urbanization which have led to the migration of persons to new places. Chances of detection to these new places are low offers them opportunity for crime. 
2-  Cultural conflicts-The urbanization and industrialization have resulted in the drifting of people from one place to another which has led to cultural conflicts between inhabitants and immigrants. Such cultural conflicts occurring between different sections of society have resulted in deviant behaviour thus increasing the crime rate of that particular place. Ruth & Cavan19 found that “Eskimos are also still not free from the problem of crime.India also suffered from the same problem during Indo-Pak partition in 1947 and in PakBangladesh times in 1971. That time there was increased immigration of „Refugees‟ from Sindh and NWF region in 1947, which created a barrier in the long-established social structure of Indian Society and resulted into massive increase in crime.
3-Family Background: This factor also encourages the Juvenile to commit for offence in the society. Sutherland20 said that “the family background has greatest influence on the criminal behaviour of offender or Juvenile. The Children divert themselves towards criminal tendencies, if they find their parents or members of the family behaving in the similar manner.The regular fights among the parents, domination of one over the other, step-motherly behaviour with children, the depravity of parents, poverty, unpleasant family atmosphere, unemployment, low income or parent‟s continued long absence from home may led to the child to fall in the bad company and indulge in the criminal activity. Some are the same factor which emanates from the family background are as under.
  1. Family Structure:The structures of the family are responsible for figuring out the personality/character development of the child. A healthy and educated family provide good atmosphere and encourages growth, confidence and makes him a responsible and sensible citizen.
  2. Broken Homes:-Broken home means a home where there is instability present in homes due any one of the missing family member like either the parents is dead or living separately or is divorced. If parents are drunkards or drug addicts or often fights with each other also disturbs the mind of such children. 
  3. Child's Birth Order in the Family-Lees and Newson (1954) found that sibling position could be an attributing factor for differences among the delinquent. According to their study, middle children are likely to get less attention and care compared to older and younger children resulting in attention deficit disorder. Such children are more likely to get prone in criminal activities and their number is also considerably large in group of delinquents. The results of their study have received some support from the findings of Gluecks
  4. Family Size and Type:-It is also recognize as a factor in reason of delinquent behavior. Delinquents mostly belong to joint and bigger families as compared to the smaller and nuclear families as less attention is likely to be paid towards children in bigger families. Glueck (1950) found “delinquent child more frequently came from joint and larger families”. Andrew (1976) and Fisher (1984) also found similar results in their studies on juvenile delinquents. Similarly, several studies have been done which have emphasized upon the large size of population to be a contributing factor to the growth of juvenile delinquency, but systematic studies are required to be done in India to investigate into this phenomenon. 

Physiological and personal

Criminal‟s psychological behaviour plays a significant role in the determination of delinquency. It is the psychology of a criminal which controls it mind, and the mind designed the criminal act which a delinquent intends or wants to do. There are some significant factors in act of anti-social behaviour
  1. School Factors -The school plays a significant role for the growth and development of a child, it is the school wherein the child has the closest contact with most children over the maximum period of time. In some schools cruel treatment given by teachers creates hatred and annoyance among the children which forces them to abscond from the school and become delinquent. Bhatia pointed that “the unfavourable school conditions may include harsh and unsympathetic treatment which often aggravates the situation”. According to Pathak, “School is usually thought of as a constructive agency but when it fails) to perform its designated functions, it may become by virtue of its negligence, the main contributor to delinquency.
  2. Drug-addiction:-Drug-obsession among the juveniles provokes them to commit petty crimes. Taking of drugs by juveniles nowadays is very common. Addiction creates a disturbance in the family and also creates a hostile atmosphere in the family. This atmosphere is highly perilous to the other child of the family.
  3. Overcrowding:  when the child sleeping with his parents in the same room he watch and hears those things which the better to do shielded. The shadow of family member jealousy towards others family member or any other negative discussion is not good for their growth and development of mind. The hostile and aggressive behaviour of the father, mother and any other family member may change the mind of child and this may also lead them toward crime/delinquency.


Juvenile delinquency takes place in different ways and it may vary in degree, frequency and seriousness and involves different forms like theft, pickpocketing, drug addiction, sex offences, predatory acts etc. Delinquency like other social problems has complex roots. The child being future of the country should be given good environment and good moral teachings which make him a responsible and wise citizen of the country.


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