A Criminal Justice Student's Perception on the Influences of Juvenile Delinquency
The factors that put adolescents at risk of becoming juvenile delinquents never cease. However, the frequency of those factors could affect their ability to progress in the programs provided by probation departments. In this study, undergraduate Criminal Justice majors from California Baptist University were surveyed regarding their perceptions of the frequency of a list of risk factors in a juvenile delinquent’s life and their perception on how these factors affect a juvenile’s ability to progress in probation programs. The risk factors that were tested include: negative interactions with parents, violence in the home, living in a violent neighborhood, low socioeconomic status, mental illness, poor academic performance, and low IQ. It was hypothesized that the more frequent a risk factor was present in a juvenile’s life, the more it would hinder their progress in probation programs. The Pearson Product-Moment Correlation analysis was used to examine the relationship between the perceptions of frequency and progress. The results showed a statistically significant main effect in the correlation between the perceptions that an increased frequency of poor academic performance hinders a juvenile delinquent’s ability to progress in a probation program. Two Independent Samples T-tests were conducted to assess for any gender differences. Significantly more male participants than female participants perceived poor academic performance and low socioeconomic status were experienced at a higher frequency. This study was conducted in hopes of aiding in the adjustment of probation programs to better help a juvenile be rehabilitated, developing an educational expansion for undergraduate Criminal Justice students on the problems faced by those who are effected by the future workforce, and supporting the further research on this topic.
A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology