The Denver Youth Survey, Pittsburgh Youth Study and The Rochester Youth Development Study was a longitudinal project conducted to research and conclude such findings as, steady change of delinquency, drug use, damage produced to youths records due to reoccuring arrest and victimization derived from the isolation of these youths. The Denver Youth Survey, •randomly sampled households in high-risk neighborhoods of Denver Colorado. 1,527 youths (806 boys and 721 girls) ages 7, 9, 11, 13, and 15 were surveyed respondents. •Interviews were conducted annually from 1988 to 1992 with the youth and only one caretaker. These high-crime-rate neighborhoods were a target and •The purpose of this study was to explore the changes in the nature of delinquency and drug use. The Pittsburgh Youth Study, •featured a random sample study of only boys. These males were in first, fourth or seventh grade. • The youths featured attended Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, public school system from 1987-1988. The team that conducted this study used their initial screening to ween out boys with the most disruptive behavior within the 30% percentile rate, while randomly selecting from the 70 percent that showed less disruptive behavior.
The sample contained roughly 500 boys at each grade level for a total of 1,517 boys. Each students’ primary caregiver was interviewed at 6 month intervals for the first 5 years. Teacher’s rating of each student was also obtained. Fourth graders were discontinued after seven assessments. First and seventh graders are curently being interviewed annually. Eighty-five percent of the participants remain in the study. The Rochester Youth Development Study •sample consisted of 1,000 students. 729 boys and 271 girls in the seventh and eighth grades of The Rochester New York public school system during the 988 school year. Though both genders were included in the study males were the focus of this sample because they are more likely than their female counterparts to engage in serious acts of delinquency. Also, high-crime areas were oversampled based on the assumption that youths in these areas are at greater risk for offendeng. Youth and parents were interviewed at 6 month intervals from 1988 to 1992. The differences involving these three studies was the prevalence of the studies themselves. The Denver Youth Survey focused on exploring the changes in nature of delinquency and drug use.
The Pittsburgh Youth Study concentrated on the question of how and why boys become involved in delinquency and other problem behaviors. Whereas, the Rochester Youth Development Study centered their attention on investigating the causes and consequences of adolescent delinquency and drug use. These three studies were targeting three different aspects of youth delinquency their causes and effects, prevention and the possible consequences that will follow. Another difference is how often the interviews were conducted.
The Denver Youth Survey conducted interviews annually, while, the Pittsburgh Youth Study and Rochester Youth Development Study conducted them every six months. The similarities of these studies included, poor parenting within the home (whether from not enough resources or not being able to provide youth with their basic needs). Another similarity, is where these studies were conducted in high-crime areas within the scope of Denver, Pittsburgh and Rochester. Delinquent attitudes from the onset of these studies were an early predicter of delinquency in most cases.
All the studies were linked by interviews whether bi-annually or annually; the progression or regression on a longitudinal scale of all the youths participating were recorded. The weakness of these studies included, the controlled variable should have been met with the consistency of the youth respondents. Each group had a different amount of respondents, different ages of the respondents and different gender numbers of the respondents. These studies, could have consistently been based on random selection within these constant variables.
The strength of these studies, is that they were even conducted. A team of specialist thought it was important enough to conduct a study on such a large scale between three different regions to find out why youth become delinquent. The correlation between these programs represent a milestone in criminological research. It constitutes the largest shared-measurement approach ever achieved in delinquency research. The three research teams worked as a tight-knit unit to ensure measures were identical across the sites.
These measures included self-reported delinquency, drug use, community and neighborhood characteristics of the youth, their family, peer variables, arrest and judicial processing histories. In conclusion, socially youths that display disruptive behavior become isolated from those that do not share their traits. Those individuals of similar characteristics begin to latch onto disruptive youths and possibly a crew or gang is formed. Delinquent behavior, is followed by violent behavior and that’s when authorities step into actoin.
Youth trying to get away from the stigma of being “bad” is met with rudical and thought to be soft. They become bullied (a victim of their own demise) so sometimes they’re better off keeping up the personification of being “down”. Delinquency can go either way for youth, one factor depending on if the negative behavior is caught early. I believe, if youth receives guidance from positive peers, family counselors and eventually society they can and will have the desire to turn their lives around.
In the end, it’s the individual that has to face what they have become, fighting against who they would like to be. Sources: http://www. ncjrs. gov/txtfiles/fs99100. txt http://www. casanet. org/library/delinquency/youth-svy. htm [email protected] COM , Pittsburgh, and Rochester youths surveys examine carefully the causes and effects of juvenile delinquency in urban areas. I believe, because the researches were conducted with similar samples and in similar environments, the findings of these studies are closely alike.
The studies show that a little percent of young people were involved in serious crime. Moreover, all three surveys report that usually less problematic behaviors in these young persons gradually develop into bigger and complex delinquent behaviors. Finally, from these researches one can see that a huge percent of youths have several other problems, such as mental health problems, alcoholism and drug use history (Program of Research on the Causes and Correlates of Delinquency). On the other hand, only the Pittsburgh study compares the delinquent behaviors of Afro-American and white adolescents.
Moreover, the Denver study is a longitudinal study of boys and girls, while the Pittsburgh research deals only with boys, and the Rochester survey does not specify if they interview girls and boys (Program of Research on the Causes and Correlates of Delinquency). I think that one of the most important findings is the crucial role parents play in children’s lives. Therefore, creating a strong bond between parents and their children is fundamental for children’s healthy development. So perhaps this way parents may prevent some children from developing delinquent behaviors.
For example, the short video The Lure of Guns and Gangs explains how children need to create bonds and feel they belong somewhere. This is the reason why some children join gangs. And this is when parents should step up and do their job. Parents should care about their children’s activities and promote family bonding. According to the textbook, even though the self-report studies have improved in recent years, there are still several problems such as no existence of standard format which makes almost impossible to compare older with newer studies, and not “the full range of delinquent behaviors” is covered (Elrod 35).
However, there are a few good sides to this kind of studies: in the survey researchers can ask questions about other possible factors that may have correlation with delinquency, “…estimate the dark figure of juvenile delinquency…,” and the results can be followed by future researchers. Yet, it is questionable if the self-report studies really measure representative samples of the young persons to be surveyed (35). Does it cover everyone? Is it big enough? Social and historical perspectives can be used to rationalize the findings of these studies.
For instance, if someone grew up in a high-risk neighborhood where guns and shooting are considered “normal,” that someone might also have a gun just to be “normal” for that environment. From a social perspective these findings show that juvenile delinquency is connected to where one grew up, one’s surroundings, especially in early childhood. From a historical perspective, these surveys are helpful because one can see the estimates from different periods-years and compare them. They can show how the results have decreased, increased and if the approaches and/or possible solutions are effective or not.
If I was conducting this research I would use participant observational study. The researcher here observes a group of young people and spends a lot of time with them. Although this study is time-consuming, I believe this is the best way to capture the real picture of youth delinquent behaviors and understand what are the current issues that causes these bad activities. Works Cited Elrod, P. Juvenile Justice: A Social, Historical, and Legal Perspective. 2nd ed. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers, 2005. Print. Lozada, J.
L. (2009, February). Program of Research on the Causes and Correlates of Delinquency [Handout, Week 2]. Queens, NY: SOC 217, Queens College. The Lure of GAlthough official data is thought to be more reliable and used widely by juvenile agencies, it appears that unofficial data is more efficient when conducting research on juvenile delinquency. In particular, self-report studies are used because they provide a great deal of information on the backgrounds of delinquents, such as, home life, friends and work environment.
Not only do self-report studies have well-rounded information on delinquency, but it also provides information researched over a long period of time. An example of a self-report study is displayed in the three surveys that were conducted to explain the behaviors and delinquency. In the article, “Program of Research on the Causes and Correlates of Delinquency”, it was found that all three surveys Denver Youth Survey, Pittsburgh Youth Study, and Rochester Youth Study had similar outcomes on offenders and their behavior.
The first similarity was that each study was researched for a year or more to gather sufficient data on the youths. Secondly, the neighborhoods researched were high-risk and located in urban areas. Lastly, on average the youths’ ages that were studied fell between 7 and 15. On the other hand, the differences in the studies were between gender and race. While Pittsburgh’s study specifically focused on boys of Caucasian and African American decent, the Denver and Rochester studies were based on delinquents in general.
Overall, I believe the results of the studies show that a combination of habitat conditions, absence of parent guidance, and peer pressure are all factors that can lead to delinquency. Self-report statistics can be more reliable because you have the benefit of talking one-on one with a person. The subject may be more willing to divulge information on a crime with a person rather than a law enforcement agent. According to Elrod & Ryder (2005), “Consequently, it allows researchers to better understand the dark figure of juvenile crime. ” (p. 35).
The weaknesses of the self report can entail difficulty of making comparisons in older studies versus new studies, and that all variables may not be present during the time the research is conducted. I believe to rationalize the findings of these studies that it takes patience, social, and historical knowledge. Careful planning along with research over periods of time can give better measurements in the studies. Besides the self-report study, another method I would use to conduct research is the cohort study because it takes a look at the socioeconomic status of an individual.
Some children grow up more fortunate, as they say grew up with a silver spoon in the hand. This does not necessarily mean the child will not become a delinquent. However, they have a greater chance of staying on the right side of the law, than a child who resides in an urban community, broken home and the possibility of easier access to drugs. The three Causes and Correlates projects utilized a parallel research plan. Every project is longitudinal examinations linking constant contacts through youth throughout an extensive part of their developmental being.
Every project consisted of researchers conducting individual face-to-face interviews with metropolitan adolescence who were considered to be at high risk for participation in criminal behavior and drug abuse. In addition, it became clear that teens that have no parental supervision have a tendency to commit more crimes. With each interview various points of view developed. First the most frequent result among these studies was that the teens were regular offenders who came from broken homes that presented mental issues and drug use. (Lozada 2009) There were also many differences among the three studies.
The differences mostly where based on gender. For example the Denver and Rochester Study used boys and girls in their research, on the other hand Pittsburg Study used only males. Another factor that can be talked about is race. Even though the researchers establish that African American youths reported somewhat more participation in severe crimes, the amount of the variation was not as vast as indicated by arrest data (Elrod & Ryder, 2005). The study also illustrated that lower class youth had superior rates of taking part in more severe offenses such as assault and robbery.
Some strengths regarding the self-reporting studies is that it can extract information on offenses not recognized by police as it also lets researchers to better comprehend the “dark figure of juvenile crime” (Elrod & Ryder, 2005). Another benefit is that much other information such as income, education, work or family life may be composed. There are also weaknesses of self-reported studies. For example self-reporting studies have been mostly performed by a diversity of researchers unaffiliated with the juvenile justice agencies (Elrod & Ryder, 2005).
Self reported studies also have observed the connection involving gender and criminal behavior. In general the studies pointed out that female take on in noticeably more delinquency than is specified by arrest records. Nevertheless, female engage in less delinquency than males and the significance of the crime is noticeably less serious (Elrod & Ryder, 2005). In my opinion the studies don’t cover the complete range of the criminal behavior because it’s based on students that go to school and does not include those that are not in school or dropped out.
In my view that’s a large miscue. Regardless the setbacks, self-reported studies allow researchers to determine the extent of delinquency as well as factors that are believed to be the cause of it (Elrod , 2005). In America today, there is no doubts that there are many supporting theories as to the main causes of juvenile delinquency which includes lack of parental control or guidance, substance abuse, broken families, media violence, delinquent peer groups, availability of violent weapons, etc.
After reading the “Program of Research on the Causes and Correlates of Delinquency” I can justify that the supporting theories as to the causes of Juvenile Delinquency are indeed true. The three longitudinally studies: Denver Youth Survey, Pittsburg Youth Survey and Rochester Youth Development Study,” have shown that children in “high risk” environments are highly influential in committing delinquent acts (Lozada, 2009). The 1987 longitudinal study of the Denver Youth Survey, involved 1527 both “high risk” boys and girls who were from 7 to 15 years old and the study also involved their families.
This study focused on the childhood to adulthood developmental processes which lead to delinquency and violence, substance use and abuse, etc and as well as the developmental sequences that lead to outcome to avoid these problem behaviors. However, the dilemma of the outcome of the study is that the subjects of this study were severely delinquent. The Pittsburg Youth Survey conducted it studies on only boys from first, fourth and seventh grade public school during the 1987 to 1988 school year. This study conducted to acknowledge ideas about how and why boys become in delinquency and other problem behaviors.
Interviews were done with the boys’ caregiver and families every six months for three years. The Rochester Youth Development Study conducted it study on 1000 adolescents (75 percent male and 25 percent female). The sampling of male was more since it is a known fact in society that “men commit more crimes than women”. According to (Lozada, 2009), the main focus of this research was to examine the causes and consequences of adolescent delinquency and drug use from teenager in this “high risk” urban neighborhood. Even though these three studies were carried out in different “high risk” settings, there are few differences and similarities.
Some similarities between these three longitudinal studies were: 1. Most of the samples in the three studies have a background of drug use. 2. Most of the delinquent acts were committed by teenagers especially males. 3. The three environments were all “high risk”, which was the main target of crimes by juveniles, since there are no parental controls. In addition, most of the offenders came from a broken family background and were influence by their authority figure. 4. Interview surveys were used in all three studies to collect information. Some differences between these three studies are: 1.
The Denver and Rochester studies used both boys and girls in there study while Pittsburg used only boys. 2. The Pittsburg study pointed out African American and white boys while the other two study did not differentiate any groups. 3. According to (Lozada 2009), each study explored difference aspects of delinquencies in youth for example: Denver studied the “changes in the nature of delinquency and drug use”, Pittsburg studied how and why boys become involved in delinquency and other problem behaviors” while Rochester studies “causes and consequences of adolescent delinquency and drug use”.
The most overall important findings in these three studies are that males in “high risk” environment are likely to commit more crimes or deviant acts than females. In addition I was surprised by the age of the individuals who committed the crimes. This clearly showed that there are no authority figures or parental controls over these children. One strength of the three studies that were conducted is that these delinquent youths were willing to participate and were not force to do so.
Another strength is that there were open about their delinquent acts or crimes. One weakness with self-report statistics and measures is that the youths may exaggerate too much in order to make their situation seems worse or they may under-report their problems in order to avoid the interview e. g. psychopaths (Elrod and ryder 2005). As a known fact, “juvenile delinquency” is a huge social problem in today’s society. Carrying out a delinquent act is a learnt process it does not naturally comes to you, it is considered to be “socially created”.
However, in the “Enlightening Period”, society was very influential in creating systematic approaches in society e. g. people learn about free will and punishment. In addition, in today’s society, many individuals spend much of their lives in groups, these groups have many roles and functions that are carried out, and every member of that group must have conformity and adherence to the roles and functions. As society changes or modernized, many behaviors also change. Therefore, social, historical and legal perspective can rationalize the findings of these studies.
In conclusion if I was conducting this research, I would choose this same approach because conducting a longitudinal study. This is because longitudinal study is observational study; it helps you to repeatedly observe the same items over a long period of time. References Elrod, P. , & Ryder, R. S. (2005). Juvenile Justice: A social, historical, and legal perspective (2nd ed. ). Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers. Lozada, J. L. (2009, February). Program of research on the causes and correlates of delinquency [Handout, Week 2]. Queens, NY: SOC 217, Queen