Theories of Juvenile Delinquency

Unit:  Theories of Juvenile Delinquency Identify 2–3 specific life events that are important in Sarah’s life right now. Describe 2–3 behaviors that you consider a precursor to delinquency at this point in Sarah’s life. Describe  rational choice theory as it applies to Sarah now  Identify 2–3 interventions that may be used at this point and how they can influence Sarah’s future toward delinquency. What if there are no interventions at this point? Explain your answer Summary of Sarah’s life age 10-13 follows: Meet Sarah Sarah Johnson is born into a loving family. While her parents struggle to make ends meet, they provide Sarah with a stable home life and a loving environment. Unfortunately, circumstances change and have a long-term impact on Sarah’s development. Age 5 Sarah loses both of her parents in a boating accident. Sarah is taken into foster care while relatives can be located. Sarah is shortly thereafter sent to live with her maternal aunt, Emily, and her husband, Fergus. Emily and Fergus have two children of their own, both of whom are in their early teens. Emily and Fergus welcome Sarah into their home but struggle to spend a lot of time with her as both work full-time and have a full schedule of children’s clubs and activities. Age 10 One of Sarah’s teenage cousins is arrested for possession of a small amount of marijuana. While he is not incarcerated, he is given probation and community service. Emily and Fergus become extremely strict and the atmosphere in the household is strained. Communication is extremely limited and Sarah begins to feel increasingly isolated. Age 11 Sarah continues to struggle in school, frequently falling behind her peer group in academic achievement. She also starts acting out emotionally in fits of anger or tears. She is sent to the school counselor who recommends she be placed in remedial courses. Her confidence in herself continues to decline. In addition, her poor grades, emotional outbursts, and poor communication skills make her the target of bullies. Sarah starts to associate with a group of troublemakers who encourage her to shoplift and act out aggressively. She starts bullying younger kids at school. Sarah’s behavior troubles Emily who seeks more help from school officials. Age 13 Sarah continues her association with friends with whom she is now drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes. Emily catches Sarah and her friends doing this behind the house. Emily scolds Sarah and confiscates her cellphone and computer. Emily and Fergus, despite the protest of their children and Sarah, continue to increase the rigidity of the rules in the house.

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