Juvenile delinquency refers to a conduct distinguished by rebellious and unsociable conduct that is beyond the parents’ or guardians’ control. Therefore, juvenile delinquency is a crime or violation of the law by young people. It is punishable but neither by death nor by life imprisonment. I am currently a 23-year-old white male of European (Polish) decent. Both my parents came from Poland to the United States as immigrants and started with nothing. I am trying to follow in their footsteps and set a good example while staying away from delinquent behavior. I have never taken alcohol, tobacco or any other drug that is misused with an aim of making people “feel high”. I only take drugs when a doctor prescribes, and take them as carefully as possible to avoid messing up with them. At my age, it is not common to find an individual who abstain from drugs. For many juveniles, tobacco and alcohol have become the best choice as they believe it assists in enjoying life and taking things easy. Additionally, most adults entertain drinking and smoking since alcohol and tobacco are legally and socially acceptable. Fortunately, I am among the lucky juveniles who have never used drugs, and is not planning to use them in the future either.
There are several theories that have been put across to explain the causes of juvenile delinquency. These theories are categorized as psychological, sociological and biological theories. Among these theories, the two that apply directly to my case are the social learning theory and the psychoanalytic theory.
The social learning theory is also referred to as the conditioning theory. This theory is based on how a person accepts morals, laws and rules of society. A child is a product of the environment. Therefore, an individual learns positive or negative values from the people in the society. Therefore, when the role models in the society have positive morals, the children follow them. On the other hand, a child is likely to follow negative behavior from the adults in the society innocently and commit crime. For instance, in a home where violence is normal, the children learn that violence is the only solution to frustrations. An individual’s experience builds the conditions for the future behavior of the person. In other words, people learn from lifetime occurrences and base their perceptions, conduct and decisions on those events. According to social learning theorists, these environmental stimuli or experiences underlie socially tolerable behavior, and criminality and delinquency.
Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung are the early theorists of the Psychoanalytic Theory. These theorists attempted to construct models to demonstrate human personality. They designed to explain the relationship between one’s behavior and personality. Sigmund Freud is the founder of the Psychoanalytic Theory, and he based his research on three components: id, ego and superego. The id refers to the primal, selfish desires and drives. Every person is born with a deep plea for self-gratification without regards for others. The ego refers to the rational mind of human beings. It checks on the desires of the id and channels them to behavioral choices. It suppresses selfishness and concentrates on other considerations. The superego is the guiding moral ethics that evaluate the choices of the ego and labels them depending on the personality’s designation of wrong and right. Development of the id, ego and superego occurs in early stages of development, and they are critical to a person’s behavior. Traumatized or underdeveloped ego and superego cause criminality and delinquency as a result of unchecked id. Additionally, weak superego makes an individual to mislabel wrong behavior as acceptable. According to the Psychoanalytic Theory, the decision to commit or omit crimes is governed by the weight of benefits and costs associated with the crime. This theory is bounded rationally. Human beings are rational, with the ability to make decisions on what to do and what not to do. Therefore, they can reason themselves on when to do something. However, development in early stages plays a vital role in this rationality.
My parents are my role models. My father does not use any drugs. He tells me that he has never tasted alcohol, tobacco or any drugs. Despite the fact that he has gone through many challenges, he never turned to drugs as a solution. Instead, he searched for advice from his parents and sometimes psychologists when things become too complicated. As the social learning theory indicates, a child emulates the adults around him. I have emulated my parents who do not take drugs. Additionally, they have continuously cautioned me against abusing drugs. My father encourages attending youth seminars to get skills on how to avoid peer influence and abuse of drugs. My parents started with nothing after migrating from Poland to the United States as immigrants. Despite all the challenges that they went through, they keep away from drugs. I desire to be like them and achieve my goals in life.
On the other hand, I have never heard of any benefits of abusing drugs. In fact, most of the crimes are committed when people are not sober. Despite the peer influence that surrounds me, I decided to remain principled and said no to drugs. According to the Psychoanalytic Theory, every human being has a chance to reason. I respect myself and only do those things that will maintain my self-esteem. Therefore, I always analyze and label an act before I do it. If I find it right, I continue with confidence, and if it is wrong I evade. I find abusing drug as wrong, and I cannot engage in the act even if all my friends turn to it.