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Theories of Youth Crime .docx

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University of Guelph
SOC 3710
Bill O' Grady

Jan 29 Theories of Youth Crime Casual Theories answer the question whyWhat factors predict youthful offending first three subheading fall into this category theory General Strain Theory Agnew Grew out of Robert Mertons theory of anomie Agnew uses the word strain instead of anomie Supports Merton in the sense that he believes that strain is caused by wanting things you cant have A lot of strain that young people experience is not just economic strain it extends to family school and peers Strains oWhen you cant achieve positive goalsEx You want to fit in with the in crowd you want to be part of a sports team not achieving these wants results in frustration and aggression ie verbalSocial psychological theory oWhen you have something you value and then something is taken away from youEx Someone takes your girlfriend or property that removal causes frustration and aggression oWhen people threaten you with negative stuff threatening to impart negative sorts of things on a personEx If you dont do this then we will do this to you ie bullying These strains can occur in conjunction with one anotheroAn accumulative issue its the added effects of these strains that lead to frustration and subsequently aggression What about the kids who experience these strains but dont commit crimeoTheir aggression can be manifested into selfharmoIf kids have a strong support network they can overcome these strains its not just having them there but it also involves using these support systems Why does the kind of strain that girls experience and the strains that guys experience differentoGirlsWhen they feel strained often the frustrated they are more likely to engage in more selfdestructive behavior ie drug use cutting girls are more likely to blame themselves direct frustration inward oBoysMore likely to lash out because they are more likely to blame others for their problems oMacrostatisticsFemale crime rates are lower and have been stable over the yearsGeneral Theory of Crime GottfredsonHirschi Developed in 1990
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