Causes and Prevention of Juvenile Delinquency

  • Travis Hirschi
Part of the The Plenum Series in Crime and Justice book series (PSIC)


Explanations of juvenile delinquency require consideration of two sets of elements. These are, on the one hand, the driving forces, the reasons or motives behind the act and, on the other, the obstacles that stand in its way, the restraints that inhibit its occurrence. In principle, it is possible to construct an explanation of delinquency that gives each set of elements, if not equal weight, at least some role in the outcome. In practice, equal treatment of motives and restraints turns out to be difficult. Once the theorist tends in one direction or the other, logic quickly takes him to an extreme position. As a result, theories of delinquency usually focus on one set and ignore or exclude the other. Theorists favoring motives of course find support for their position in human nature, the logic of science, and in the brute facts of experience. Those favoring restraints find, in the same places, equal support for their views. The choice between these extremes then takes on the character of an all-or-none political or ideological decision, with the student asked to choose between causation and deterrence, between social science and law, between the liberal and conservative approaches to public policy.


Control Theory Delinquent Behavior Motivational Theory Moral Belief Sociological Theory 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Travis Hirschi

There are no affiliations available

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