Children in Conflict with Law: A Study on the Biopsychosocial Correlates of Juvenile Delinquency

Mishra, Elsie (2021) Children in Conflict with Law: A Study on the Biopsychosocial Correlates of Juvenile Delinquency. PhD thesis.

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Juvenile delinquency is an unfathomable social problem afflicting the globe at present, India being no exception. Its ubiquitous corrosive tentacles are unmistakably discernible in the social structure leading to erosion of values and generation gap. The very matrix of our society is rudely shaken by the wanton and willful attitude of adolescents who resort to criminal activities like fish taking to water. Therefore, lots of debates, discussions and studies are carried out in India based on the juvenile justice system i.e. on juvenile crime rate, Juvenile Justice (care and protection) Acts (2000, 2006 and 2015) and on the amendments made in them or on amendments to be made. Not many focus on the actual risk factors that play an influential role in motivating the juveniles to commit crime. Therefore, there exists a huge disparity between Western countries and India in terms of understanding this complex phenomenon i.e. juvenile delinquency. To appraise the lack of understanding of the individual and social level stressors present in India and the gap found in the existing literature, the following objectives are proposed: a) to examine the rate of change in proportion of crime among children in conflict with law, b) to determine the factors responsible for increased commission of violent and property crime by the children in conflict with law, c) to examine whether children living with parents commit more crime than homeless children d) to explore the causal correlates of juvenile delinquency, e) to develop a biopsychosocial causal model of criminal behavior in the children in conflict with law. The study population comprises male children in conflict with law (n=100) and female children in conflict with law (n=16) apprehended for various crimes (IPC and SLL crime) residing in the four Government-run Observation and Special Homes (O&SHs), Odisha situated in Angul, Berhampur and Rourkela. Data have been collected through semistructured interview schedules and revised Kuppuswamy Socio-economic scale (2016) has been used to calculate the socio-economic status of the family. Qualitative and quantitative data sets are analyzed independently and collectively for an in-depth understanding of the phenomenon i.e., juvenile delinquency. Mixed method approach is used for the purpose of data analysis in the study. Chi-square test of independence is conducted to find the relationship between the variables. Verbatim collected from the children are thoroughly analyzed using QDA (Qualitative Data Analysis) Miner Lite software (Version 2.0) to find out the factors that have played a crucial role in the commission of crime. The finding of the study: I. Juvenile Crime Trend Analysis over The Period of Twenty-Five Years (1990-2015) of India and Odisha Incidences of juvenile delinquency (IPC and SLL) cases have increased from 15021 in 1995 to 33433 in 2015 and from 341 in 1990 to 934 in 2015 in India and Odisha respectively. Over the period of twenty-five years, increase in incidences of IPC and decline in SLL crimes have occurred in both India and Odisha. Incidences of murder, rape and kidnapping & abduction, theft and burglary have multiplied in these years in India and Odisha too.
II. Factors Responsible for Commission of Crime by Children in Conflict with Law Boys are more likely to commit both violent and property crime compared to girls. Children mostly commit crime in later adolescence phase (i.e. 15-19 years). A significant association is found between violent criminal propensities in adolescents and the marital status of the parents, relationship between parents, lack of proper guidance and supervision, criminal parents and sibling, maltreatment experienced, working status of father, income of mother and child, annual income of the family and socio-economic status of family, good relationship with peer, the amount of time spent with peer , place of association with peer, irregularity in attending school, relationship shared with classmates, no interaction in class, living in semi urban areas characterised by poor, disorganized neighbourhood. Similarly, in case of property crime a significant link exists between the delinquents and their criminal siblings, maltreatment experienced, working of the child and annual income of the family, association with anti-social peer, no interest in education, no interaction in class and truancy, living in semi urban areas characterised by poor disorganised violent neighbourhood. Children Living with Parents Commit More Crime Than Homeless Children share a strong feeling of cohesion and belongingness to the family and, therefore, don’t hesitate to resort to crime when family honor is at stake. Despite coming from poor and dysfunctional family and staying in violent, disorganized neighborhood, living with parents provides a sense of security to children. Most often working parents do not impose necessary control on their children as they spend most of the time outside home. Hence, children labor under the belief that their parents will cover up their mistakes and wrong doings. But it is not the same for homeless children and children living with guardians. In the absence of this feeling of cohesion and solidarity, these homeless children and children living with guardians feel relutant to resort to crime as they do not have the security of somebody’s hand over their head. Biopsychosocial Explanation of Juvenile Delinquency Victimization and lack of parental trust and faith cause trauma, anger and aggressive behavioral problems in girls. The sense of insecurity and neglect are primarily associated with deviancy and criminality in girls. Biopsychosocial factors are found to be the most influential in commission of crime by girls followed by psychosocial factors. The influence of peers, poverty, sexual urges, criminal parents and siblings, lack of parental care and trust (i.e. feeling neglected and unloved) are some of the factors that have had a negative effect on the psychological wellbeing of boys. These factors promote stress, resentment, anger and aggressive behavior towards others. In case of boys, psychosocial factors are found to play an influential role in their commission of crime than biopsychosocial factors. Finally, based on the complete analysis of the verbatim, psychosocial factors i.e. social stressors (poverty, trauma, lack of parental care, neglect etc.) engendering psychological distress (anger, aggressive behavior, stress, trauma etc.) and vice versa are found to be the most influential factors in comparison to the biopsychosocial ones. A Biopsychosocial causal model is proposed. Besides filling some gaps in literature, the findings sometimes affirm and sometimes contradict with the findings of previous studies. The current study makes a significant contribution towards providing a biopsychosocial causal model of juvenile delinquency.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Biological Factors; Biopsychosocial; Crime; Delinquency; Juvenile; Psychological Factors; Sociological Factors
Subjects:Humanities & Social Sciences > Social Change
Humanities & Social Sciences > Sociology
Humanities & Social Sciences > Gender studies
Humanities & Social Sciences > Social and Personality Psychology
Divisions: Social Sciences > Department of Humanities & Social Sciences
ID Code:10217
Deposited By:IR Staff BPCL
Deposited On:15 Nov 2021 14:09
Last Modified:15 Nov 2021 14:09
Supervisor(s):Biswal, Ramakrishna

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