What are the family’s influences on delinquent behavior


  1. What are the family’s influences on delinquent behavior?

Crosswhite and Kerpelman support that family contributes significantly as the strongest forces of socializing in the life of a person (611). A family, therefore, acts as the foundation of human society. It plays a core role of teaching children various ways of controlling improper behaviors. Families, for instance, train kids to how to delay gratifications and the need to respect their elders and honor the rights of other members of the society. However, families can contribute significantly in teaching children antisocial, violent and aggressive behaviors. Parents who reject their kids put them at a high risk of becoming delinquent. Similarly, children that are brought up in a family with substantial conflicts or were not supervised adequately while bringing them up are also likely to be the victims. A family hence plays a significant role in delinquency. The statement hence explains how juvenile can become a delinquent at their early stages of growing up and during adolescence. According to Crosswhite and Kerpelman, positive parenting methods that are applied during the initial stages of bringing up their kids and during teenage contributes to either preventing or promoting delinquent behavior (624). Proper parental guidance can, therefore, assist children to desist from delinquency.

Crosswhite and Kerpelman argue that parents play a role of a model towards their kids and when they are the primary source of reinforcement and held in high esteem, their children have high chances to shape them (633). Unacceptable behaviors applied by parents are likely to affect how their children will behave through observing and learning from them. A family serves as a pillar to the lives of people and has a significant influence the behaviors of young generations. A Parent through childbearing plays a major of molding and molding and shaping behavior that are appropriate and in agreement with the accepted norms of society. It can be argued that some parenting methods applied when bringing up children have major impacts on the behavior of a child, for instance, parental support. The parenting method entails the behavior towards the child, for example, praise, encouragement and offering affection and they contribute to showing kids that they are valued and loved. A parental support that is given by parents to their children increases their bonding hence building their self-control that is linked to hindering the formation of deviant behaviors.

Various factors contribute to indicating ways a family may influence delinquent behavior. For instance, the failure of parents to apply effective discipline to their kids, lack of adequate monitoring and weak methods used to solve family problems. Effective discipline can be explained as a method to recognize deviant behaviors and keep track of their occurrence. Consistent discipline should, therefore, ensure as a mitigating measure when the deviant behavior occurs.  A family can also use overly harsh punishments as a preventive measure of unacceptable behaviors to their kids that can cause them to retaliate because of viewing the act as being unjust and unfair to them. Failure to monitor closely the friends that kids interacts with, places they visit and the kinds of activities they are involved with during their free times can cause a child to develop deviant conducts hence influencing delinquent behaviors. Increased divorce cases in families can as well result in weakening parents bond and hence lowering self-control of children making them develop low self-esteem and engage in deviant behaviors (Crosswhite and Kerpelman 636).


  1. We know that one of the strongest predictors of delinquency is school failure. What are the personal and social factors that are related to school failure?

School failures can be explained as a lack of success in education. The failure can be associated with economic losses, higher education, and social costs. A school failure is also linked to negative health outcomes, for instance, learners who perform in an unsatisfactory manner in school are likely to be engaged in accompanying harmful health behaviors. For example, teenagers could get involved in drinking, smoking and drug abuses. Crosswhite and Kerpelman support that personal and social factors contributes significantly to school failures (634). Personal factors, for instance, lack of motivation, interests and negative attitudes towards teachers can cause a student to perform unsatisfactorily at school. An individual student could be having low motivation and dislike specific subjects or an entire education system that can affect overall performance in school. Motivation contributes significantly to student’s success. Lacking it would reflect his or her performance at school (Crosswhite and Kerpelman 636).

Society contributes to school failures in that students could be lacking the confidence of securing a job after school. Lack of job security can, therefore, have negative impacts on the performance of students at the school. Social factors also include lack of social respect and status relating to the field that a student could be studying. For instance, a student could be taking a course in the field of art that could not be viewed by the other members of the society to be as prestigious field as the learners in the areas of science and technology. Lack of equipment like library facilities and poor technology advancement can also affect the performance of students in school. The facilities play a significant part in improving the performance of students by creating a favorable learning environment. Additionally, social behaviors, as well as the level of experience of the students, can result in school failure (Crosswhite and Kerpelman 641).

  1. Please discuss the major court cases involving the legal rights of students.

Two well-known cases that involve the rights of students are the Tinker v. Des Moines Independent School District (1969) and the Goss V. Lopez case. They have been used in forming the foundation for policies, and that concerns the administrators and students in school. They argue in support that the rights of students are still to be applied even at school and don not end at the schoolhouse gate. In Tinker v. Des Moines case, “Mary Beth Tinker, John, and their friend Chris Eckhardt were wearing black armbands to school in Des Moines, Iowa with the aim of protesting against the war in Vietnam” (Jacob 10). They refused to remove the armbands after they were requested by the school officials to do so and consequently they faced a suspension. They sued the school district together with their parents and claimed that it violated the 1st Amendment that is in support of rights of freedom of expression and speech. The court decision was for the students and indicated that schools should not limit students to express their freedom of speech if it does not interfere with rights of others, disrupt school activities and class work (Jacob 10).

Jacob indicated that “due process was established in the ruling of Goss V. Lopez case of the year 1975” (11). According to the case, students were involved in a disturbance when taking their lunch that caused damages to school property. Despite the fact that Lopez denied that she participated in the disturbance, she faced suspension, and she was not given a chance of expressing her side of the story. She and other suspended students filed a suit for the violation of their due process rights. According to the ruling students should be given rights and notice before being suspended. They should be allowed to exercise their constitutional rights of due process.

Works Cited

Crosswhite, Jennifer M., and Jennifer L. Kerpelman. “Coercion Theory, Self-Control, and Social Information Processing: Understanding Potential Mediators for How Parents Influence Deviant Behaviors.”Deviant Behavior, vol. 30, no. 7, 2009, pp. 611-646.

Jacobs, T. “Supreme Court Cases Every Teen Should Know.”The New York Times 15 September 2008, pp. 10-11.