Criminology Homework


  1. The Proposed topic of my paper: Cause and deterrence Juvenile Delinquency

Discuss what topic you plan to write about and how that topic relates to Forensic Psychology. Discuss the problem issue for the field that you will address with your “fix.” Include a very brief outline of what the paper will cover. The paper needs to contain a minimum of 10 references in the main paper. But here, just include at least five proposed references. I am looking to see that you have investigated the availability and the suitability of references for the paper. The course I’m doing is called PSY 512 (introduction to forensic psychology)


Cause and Deterrence: Juvenile Delinquency

Juvenile delinquency refers to participation in crimes or illegal behavior by minors.  In the USA, individuals below 18 years are considered juveniles. However, in Texas, New York, New Hampshire, and North Carolina the age limit is 17 years. While individuals who are below the statutory age are tried as children, it is possible for them to be tried as adults in some cases depending on the severity of the offense. Juvenile crimes are on the rise across America today. Whether or not the crimes or offenses committed by the juvenile delinquents are grave or severe, it is an issue that ought to be addressed altogether(Strohmaier, Murphy &DeMatteo, 2014). My research proposal will focus on trying to answer the question that has been asked time and time again. What causes juvenile delinquency and how can it be deterred?


In order to understand juvenile delinquency, one must first consider two things: the motives behind the commission of the crimes or offences and the restraints that deter its future occurrence (Agnew &Brezina, 2001). This is the point where forensic psychology, which addresses the relationship between justice and psychology, comes in. By understanding legal framework and judicial considerations, forensic psychologists can be able to interact appropriately with the attorneys, judges and other legal professionals. For instance, individuals with a forensic psychology background can serve best in the court by testifying as expert witnesses. They are typically capable of reconstructing the psychological state of the individuals convicted and explaining it to the legal professionals in the simplest way possible. Evidently, by working close with forensic psychologists, it is possible to find what motives drive juvenile delinquency and its deterrence.

The research will dwell on finding the main reasons behind increased cases of juvenile delinquency, after which efforts will be made to address the best ways in which it can be avoided altogether. A major causative factor for juvenile delinquency is parent/child interaction. Similarly, an overall rise in crime contributed to increased cases of juvenile delinquency. The higher the crime rate within the neighborhood, the higher the rate of juvenile delinquency.How parents raise their children plays a big role in determining how they will turn out as adults and more so in their critical teenage years (Deutsch et al., 2012; Schwartz, Rendon & Hsieh, 1994). If one has been raised to respect private property, treat others with respect, to always be the bigger person and to be satisfied with what they have, they are far less likely to be found committing crimes or petty offences. In the same way, while one cannot choose where they are born in, acknowledging the issue of a high crime rate may make certain teenagers to choose a different path than the one their peers are taking (Herrenkohl et al., 2000).


The research paper will begin with an introduction that will solely explain what juvenile delinquency is and how forensic psychology is related to it.  It will then provide a detailed literature review on the current documented causes of juvenile delinquency.Next, an undertaking will be made to study, by sampling, a substantial number of random children and keep an eye on them to see how they turn out based on their environment and parent/child interaction. By making my target population children, it will be possible to evaluate any determinants that may have missed during the literature review. The next step will entail giving a detailed account of the conclusions drawn from the study, and later suggest the ways in which one can deter crimes in juvenile delinquents.Addressing all these issues will help in improving the criminal justice system by lowering the number of juvenile delinquents and helping to understand why and how they come to be.


Agnew, R.&Brezina, T. (2001). Juvenile delinquency: Causes and control. Los Angeles, CA, USA: Roxbury Publishing Company.

Deutsch, A. R., Crockett, L. J., Wolff, J. M. & Russell, S. T. (2012). Parent and peer pathways to adolescent delinquency: Variations by ethnicity and neighborhood context. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 41(8), 1078-1094.

Herrenkohl, T. I., Maguin, E., Hill, K. G., Hawkins, J. D., Abbott, R. D., & Catalano, R. F. (2000). Developmental risk factors for youth violence. Journal of Adolescent Health, 26(3), 176-186.

Schwartz, I. M., Rendon, J. A., & Hsieh, C. M. (1994). Is child maltreatment a leading cause of delinquency? Child Welfare, 73(5), 639.

Strohmaier, H., Murphy, M., &DeMatteo, D. (2014). Youth sexting: Prevalence rates, driving motivations, and the deterrent effect of legal consequences. Sexuality Research and Social Policy, 11(3), 245-255.

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