Essay Questions On Youth Crime

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A large factor in youth delinquency can also be attributed to a form of antisocial behaviour known as aggression.

Aggression is a major factor in youth delinquency as acts of aggression are usually carried out on other people and as such are a crime.

Television and movies: The concern surrounding movies, television and their effects on the youth watching them stem from the social learning theory of imitation (Leyens, Herman and Dunand 1984).

In 1961 Albert Bandura conducted an experiment measuring levels of aggression in children (1961). Status, deviance, and sanctions: A critical review.

Two types of aggression identified by Baumeister and Bushman (2008) are “hostile aggression” and “instrumental aggression”.

Hostile aggressions constitute crimes or acts with impulsive or emotive motivations whereas instrumental aggression is more calculated and motivated by goal driven behaviour.Thus it can be reasonably applied to youths that witness violent acts in movies and television would be more likely to repeat those acts than those who don’t. Journal of Criminology vol 45 481-517 Van Dam, C., De Bruyn, E. Criticism came about the contrived nature of the experiment and the use of artificial films however, was quietened by numerous field experiments that yielded the same results (Leyens et al.). Therefore if a youth has been playing a violent video game and has experienced an increase in frustration or hostility it is more likely that they are to act out. sought to demonstrate this in an experiment where participants played a video game with measures being taken at a timed interval.Participants were given story stems to respond to where participants had to say how they would react to certain scenarios and their heart rate was taken.It has been found that the media increases aggression in youths and that socio-economic status along with peer relations, education and parenting neglect can increase the probability of juveniles engaging in delinquent behaviour.Two theories of personality and intelligence are looked at which show that psychological factors may also contribute to juvenile delinquency.The difference in motivation behind aggressive behaviour has led researchers to explore whether aggression in youths and subsequently adults, is a result of the increasing violence shown in the media, the situational circumstances one is in or if there are physiological factors such as personality that determine how aggressive one is. In the early 1950s horror comics were criticised and linked to juvenile delinquency.Since then television as well as video and computer games have been accused of undermining moral values and cultivating a more violent and criminally oriented social climate (Gunter, 1994).Clint Eastwood’s movie “Dirty Harry” has been linked to copy cat serial killings and more recently the school shootings at Columbine (1999) have been linked to violent video games (Carnagey, Anderson and Bartholow).Numerous studies have been undertaken to see what effects video game playing has on feelings of aggression and subsequent acts of aggression.


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