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Role of family environment in adult criminality - Essay Example

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This paper tells that family environment impacts adult criminality to a large extent. Family encourages children to avoid unacceptable attitude and respect others’ rights. In the capacity of the strongest socializing force, families are also able to teach the children anti-social,violent behaviors. …
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Role of family environment in adult criminality
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Download file to see previous pages Juvenile delinquency is the display of criminal attitude by youngsters in the age of transition into adulthood while adult criminality is the display of violent behaviors in adulthood. A whole range of antisocial behaviors are displayed by the juvenile delinquents that include but are not limited to drug abuse, alcohol abuse, vandalism, rape, weapon possession, bullying, school malpractices, truancy, and cultism which make them criminal as grownups. There is a growing consensus among the analysts that adult crime finds its roots in the family environment an individual spends his/her childhood in (Eitle and Turner, 2002, p. 215). There is dire need to realize the specific factors ingrained in the corrupt family environment which are responsible for enhancing a child’s tendency to land in the world of crime. This paper aims at discussing some of the ways in which children gain negative influences from the family environment.
Antisocial behavior of parents increases their children’s tendency to become delinquent and antisocial. Several studies including McCord (1977) and Robins (1979) have depicted the criminality of parents as the causal factor behind the child delinquency. Family factors have been identified as strong determinants of criminality in children.
We know that children who grow up in homes are characterized by lack of warmth and support, whose parents lack behavior management skills, and whose lives are characterized by conflict or maltreatment will more likely be delinquent, whereas a supportive family can protect children even in a very hostile and damaging external environment. (Smith and Stern, 1997, p. 383). In Cambridge Study in Delinquent Development, the most comprehensive research upon family offence was conducted that included 400 males of all ages in the range of 8 years to 48 years (Farrington et al., 2006). The researchers predicted a boy’s convictions due to his relationship with a convicted brother, sister, father or mother. It was found that each of these relatives had his/her own independent significance as predictor, though the level of influence was controlled by certain factors including gender and age. 63 per cent of the convicted boys had convicted fathers as compared to 30 per cent of the boys that had non-convicted fathers. In determining the influence of relationships upon a boy’s delinquency, same-sex relationships were found to be more influential in comparison to the opposite-sex relationships. Also, the influence of criminality of elder siblings was found to be more than that of younger siblings. Sexual abuse that girls experience at home triggers the motivation in them to run away with a view to escaping the abuse they are offered at home (Siegel and Williams, 2003, p. 71). This act of leaving the home may results into an incarceration along with different kinds of offending. In order to make their living while away from home, many girls become thieves or prostitutes. A lot of retrospective investigations have found the origin of prostitution in the childhood sexual abuse. Studies by Reich and Gutierres (1979) and Ames and Widom (1998) have shown that sexual abuse at home is a predictor of running away from home with a great statistical significance. A research directed at exploring the causes of male and female runaways determined that sexual abuse was a reason for leaving home only for females (Welsh et al., 1995). Child neglect and abuse may cause improper development of several areas of brain which may become the root-cause of impaired physical, emotional and psychological development. Certain regions of the brain may display a hyperarousal response as a result of the stress caused by the chronic abuse. Its consequences may include but are not limited to sleep disturbance, hyperactivity, and tension. Besides, it increases an individual’s vulnerability to attention deficit disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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