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Social Inequality and Juvenile Delinquency

Unfortunately, there is a high crime rate among adolescents. At the same time, as it is commonly believed, young people are considered to be the future of the country. Therefore, the fate of society and the state depends on their behavior, lifestyle, personal qualities, and the fact if teenagers conduct any criminal activities. For this reason, close attention that is paid to the issue of juvenile delinquency does not seem as surprising. Even though the role of the youth for the future of the country is essential, providing solutions to this problem is not an easy task. The reason for this is the fact that a high crime rate among young people is connected with inequality.

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In other words, economic disparities between social classes, as well as the discrimination of teenagers by restricting their opportunities, are some of the main reasons behind juvenile delinquency. The other causes of this social phenomenon include problems, such as the polarization of citizens’ incomes, family crises, and the lack of a holistic system of education and support for the younger generation. The problem of preventing juvenile delinquency, especially violent crimes, is the most important and priority task for any country. The main reasons contributing to the growth of delinquency among minors are the socio-economic transformation of society, changes in moral orientations of the population, and the weakening of the educational opportunities of the family and school.

In addition, a high crime rate among adolescents can be considered as a failure to support teenagers. According to researchers, “social disadvantages affect the emergence of crime propensity and criminogenic exposure of individuals” (Schepers, 2017, p. 143). The blame should not be put on parents; however, society is also responsible for this. For instance, income inequality can lead to bullying those who are poor. Although this problem has been around for many years, the solution that would help to deal with aggression was not provided. Furthermore, in poor families, parents are often forced to work long hours, which restricts their opportunities to properly raise their children, provide emotional support for them, and control their activities. Poverty is often accompanied by discrimination, racism, family issues, unemployment, social exclusion, and lack of proper social support systems.

The overall strategy of improving the situation should be aimed at shifting the focus from punishment crime to preventing it. However, this process involves analyzing the causes of delinquent behavior, circumstances, and factors that contribute to it. Moreover, most of the measures for stopping crime are used after a teenager commits an offense. Unfortunately, very few preventive methods are used in order to avoid misdemeanors before they occur. Nevertheless, researchers suggest several methods, for instance, “parents need to not only be informed about how to think and behave as a good parent and citizens, but they also need to develop a will to participate” (Dahlstedt & Lozic, 2017, p. 11). Furthermore, Flocks, Calvin, Chriss, and Prado-Steiman (2017) talk about how programs aimed at preventing crimes “may be more effective if they are tailored to meet the unique needs of at-risk children through trauma-informed and gender-specific interventions” (p. 16). In other words, measures that are intended to improve the living standards of the population will be helpful in reducing inequality. By providing social protection for families, support, and socialization programs for children in difficult situations, society can prevent most juvenile crimes.


Dahlstedt, M., & Lozic, V. (2017). Managing urban unrest: Problematising juvenile delinquency in multi-ethnic Sweden. Critical and Radical Social Work, 5(2), 207-222.

Flocks, J., Calvin, E., Chriss, S., & Prado-Steiman, M. (2017). The case for trauma-informed, gender-specific prevention/early intervention programming in reducing female juvenile delinquency in Florida. Northwestern Journal of Law and Social Policy, 12(1).

Schepers, D. (2017). Causes of the causes of juvenile delinquency: Social disadvantages in the context of situational action Theory. European Journal of Criminology, 14(2), 143-159.

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