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Childhood and delinquency - Essay Example

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Age discrimination should exist for juvenile delinquents because of their level of cognitive and psychosocial immaturity and because it reduces juvenile crimes. One of the reasons that juvenile arrest rates for violent crime have reached a historic lowest point in 2012 since…
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Childhood and delinquency
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Download file to see previous pages e with poor decision-making systems that make them more likely to take risks, not consider long-term consequences of their actions, and more prone to peer pressure (Cauffman and Steinberg 741; Kambam and Thompson 180).
First, juveniles are still developing their brains, wherein undeveloped brain areas may account for impulsivity and risk-taking behaviors (Siegel 16). Kambam and Thompson described the two systems that shape adolescent risk-taking actions: the socio-emotional system and the cognitive-control system. Puberty changes can create changes in the socio-emotional system that increase the youth’s need for novelty and thrill, which tend to make them more impulsive (Kambam and Thompson 179). Moreover, children’s brains have not yet fully developed in some areas that decrease their ability to control their emotions (Kambam and Thompson 180). If children are not competent enough to make rational decisions, they cannot be held accountable for their crimes.
Second, insufficient psychosocial development inhibits children from considering the long-term consequences of their actions (Siegel 16). Cauffman and Steinberg studied the effects of psychosocial factors on the maturity of more than 1,000 respondents with ages ranging from 12 to 48 years old. They determined that responsibility, perspective, and temperance are important to making mature judgments. Their findings showed that adolescents have poor psychosocial maturity because they do not know how to fully consider the long-term effects of their actions and they have less sense of responsibility for their actions. Juveniles are not completely capable of long-term thinking.
Third, children may be more prone to peer pressure, and those who live in criminogenic environments are at risk of adapting criminal behaviors. Fried et al. wanted to know the effects of psychosocial factors, specifically temporal perspective, peer influence, and risk perception, on criminal decision making. They asked 56 delinquent ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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