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theory integration

combining 2 or more existing theories on the basis of their perceived commonalities in order to develop a new theory that improves on the constituent theories; to advance our understanding of crime and delinquency

relationship between family and delinquency

the quality of life within the home is a more significant deterrent of delinquent behavior than the presence of both parents; parental rejection is associated w/delinquent behavior; inconsistent, lax, or severe discipline is associated w/increased delinquency

strain theory

pressure exerted on youths who cannot attain cultural success goals by the social structure will push them to engage in nonconforming behavior

Merton's stages of adaptation to anomie

conformity, innovation, ritualism,retreatism,rebellion

Stages of adaptation to anomie conformity

accepts cultural goals and institutional means

stages of adaptation to anomie innovation

accepts cultural goals but rejects institutional means

stages of adaptation to anomie ritualism

rejects cultural goals but accepts institutional means

stages of adaptation to anomie retreatism

reject cultural goals and institutional means

stages of adaptation to anomie rebellion

rejects values and institutions, but substitutes them for a new set of values and institutions


repeated involvement of a juvenile in one type of delinquency during the course of his or her offending


a youth with a personality disorder; a hard-core juvenile criminal; undomesticated child

social structure

the relatively stable formal and informal arrangements that characterize a society, including its economic arrangements, social institutions, and values and norms

social control according to Hirishi

proposes that delinquent acts result when a juvenile's bond to society is weak or broken


the process by which individuals come to internalize their culture; learn the norms, sanctions, and expectations of being a member of a particular society; good or bad norms and values

self report studies class suggestions

juvies in both middle and lower classes are involved in considerable illegal behavior; BUT soecioeconomically lower-class youths appear to commit more frequent delinquent acts and are more likely to be chronic offenders than are youths in the socioecon middle-class
-african americans are more likely than whites to be arrested, convicted, and institutionalized

self report studies- why challenged

research designs have often been deficient leading to false inferences; varied nature of social settings in which they are conducted makes it difficult for investigators to test hypotheses; the studies' reliability and validity are questionable

self report studies

studies of juvenile crime based on surveys in which youths report on their own delinquent acts

routine activity theory

Cohen and Felson: crime rate trends and cycles are related to the nature of everyday patterns of social interaction that characterize the society in which they occur

punishment by Cesare

a necessary evil that should be public, immediate, and necessary; the least possible in the case given; proportioned to the crime; determined by the laws; purpose-to deter persons from the commission of crime and not to provide social revenge

reaction formation

Psychological strategy for dealing with frustration by becoming hostile toward an unattainable object

radical nonintervention

schur: authorities should "leave the kids alone whenever possible"

radical criminology

a perspective that holds that the causes of crime are rooted in social conditions that empower the wealthy and the politically well organized but disfranchise the less fortunate

incidence of delinquency

the frequency with which delinquent behavior takes place; person, place, number involved

prevalance of delinquency

the percentage of the juvenile population who are involved in delinquent behavior

power-control theory

Hagan the relationship between gender and delinquency is linked to issues of power and control

positivism view of delinquents

delinquents are affected by biological or psychological factors that impair their decision-making abilities


just as laws operate in bio, medical, and physical sciences, laws govern human behavior; these laws can be understood and used. Causes of human behavior can be modified to eliminate many of society's problems

oppurtunity theory

gang members turn to delinquency because of a sense of injustice about the lack of legitimate opportunities open to them


property crimes

masculinity hypothesis

the idea that as girls become more boylike and acquire more "masculine" traits, they become more delinquent

life course

5 principles: crime is more likely to occur when an individual's ties to society are attenuated; 2-antisocial behavior in childhood; adult life course matters; human agency is important; dual policy should focus on emphasizing prevention and reform

life course theory/perspective

a sociological framework suggesting that four key factors determine the shape of the life course: location in time and place, linked lives, human agency, and timing of lives

primary deviance

initial act of deviance that causes a person to be labeled a deviant

secondary deviance

deviance that is a consequence of societal reaction to an initial delinquent act

labeling theory

society creates the delinquent by labeling those who are apprehended as "different" from other youth, when in reality they are different primarily because they have been 'tagged' with a deviant label

index offenses

the most serious offenses reported in the FBI's UCRP, including murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson

Frued id, ego, superego

neurotic development; defective superego-unable to feel guilt or affection toward others (socio/psychopaths); overdeveloped superego-represses feelings in childhood, then feelings explode in violent crimes; compensatory gratification the missed earlier


conscience-internalizes the rules of society


mediates between the id an superego-socialization


a person's raw instincts and primitive drives; immediate

human agency

the active role juveniles take in their lives; the fact that juveniles are not merely subject to social and structural constraints but make choices and decisions based on the alternatives that they see before them

general theory of crime

people who lack self-control will tend to be impulsive, insensitive, physical, risk-taking, short-sighted, and nonverbal and will tend therefore to engage in criminal and analogous acts

feminist theory and juvenile delinquency

Meda Chesney-Lind and others: adolescent females' victimization at home causes them to become delinquent and that this fact has been systematically ignored

drift theory matza

the theoretical perspective that juveniles neutralize the moral hold of society and drift into delinquent behavior; delinquent transiently exists in limbo between convention and crime, responding in turn to the demands of each

differential association theory

?: the view that delinquency is learned from others, and that delinquent behavior is to be expected of individuals who have internalizes a preponderance of definitions that are favorable to law violations

conduct norms

the rules of a group governing the ways its members should act under particular conditions; the violation of these rules arouse a group reaction

culture conflict theory

Sellin and others proposed idea that delinquency or crime arises because individuals are members of a subculture that has conduct norms which are in conflict with those of the wider society

cultural deviance theory

Shaw, Mckay, and Miller proposed that delinquent behavior is an expression of conformity to cultural values and norms that are in opposition to those of the large U.S. society

Jeremy Bentham

Criminal behavior is a result of free will/rational choice

containment theory

Walter C. reckless' theoretical perspective that strong inner containment and reinforcing external containment provide insulation against delinquent and criminal behavior

conflict theory

a perspective which holds that delinquency can be explained by socioecon class, by power and authority relationships, and by group and cultural differences

The relationship between class and the commission of serious violent offenses?:

problems of childhood related

chivalry factor

the idea that the justice system tends to treat adolescent females and women more leniently because of their gender

relationship between these forms of abuse/neglect and delinquency

being abused & neglected can lead to delinquency or the opposite; at least a partial link between child abuse and neglect and delinquent behavior and status offenses; may experience psychological problems, run away, truancy, drug and alcohol abuse; involvement in deviant sexual behavior & aggressive stance toward others

characteristic problem behaviors

socialized in economically stressed families, histories of physical abuse and sexual victimization, educational & vocational skill deficits, alcohol & drug abuse;

blocked opportunity

limited or nonexistent chances of success; according to strain theory, a key factor in delinquency

most likely to commit

possession of stolen property, drugs and alcohol, vandalism, weapons offenses

average delinquent today

high-risk youths who are involved in multiple problem behaviors; males

Merton anomie

normlessness; when a culture lacks integration between goals and institutionalized means

Emily Durkheim anomie

normlessness; society's failure to provide adequate regulation of its members' attitudes and behaviors

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