Author (Your Name)

Nancy Fischer, Colby College

Date of Award


Document Type

Senior Scholars Paper (Open Access)


Colby College. Sociology Dept.




One of the most critical problems facing the American nation today is the delinquency of its children and adolescents. It is questlonable whether there is a greater problem today than in the past. The problem has been brought out in the open now through the action of our law enforcement agencies and social service organisation, while in earlier times few statistics were available concerning delinquency. Even today, many deliquent children escape the attention of the law or are in such a favorable situation in the community that their misdemeanore are passed by. Dr. Paul Tappan states: "All, or at least the vast majority of, normal children sometimes indulge in forms of behavior that might come within the purview of the juvenile court. Whether a given child will get into trouble depends largely on the interpretation that is attached to his conduct and the willingness or ability of the parent to deal with it." Apparently, there are very few model children who might be considered paragons of virtue except through parental understanding and leniency. This statement leads to the question "What is juvenile delinquency?" Stanley D. Porteue expresses the attitude and wish that those who study delinquents should concentrate less attention on the abnormal and core on the commonplace. He feels that delinquents as a group do not fall far outside the range of normal mentality and temperament. "The large majority of delinquents are not psychopathic or mentally sick. Research should be directed towards characteristics which are common to all of us, but which, by reason of excess or deficiency, tilt the scale towards delinquent behevior."


Juvenile delinquents, Education, Juvenile delinquency, Juvenile delinquents, Rehabilitation, United States

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