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Laws 2014, 3(3), 439-468; doi:10.3390/laws3030439

Reculer Pour Mieux Sauter: A Review of Attachment and Other Developmental Processes Inherent in Identified Risk Factors for Juvenile Delinquency and Juvenile Offending

1
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Sydney, 404, J12, New South Wales 2006, Australia
2
Children's Court Clinic, Children's Court of NSW, Westmead 2145, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 21 April 2014 / Revised: 4 July 2014 / Accepted: 11 July 2014 / Published: 24 July 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Development of Juvenile Delinquency)
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Abstract

The task of this paper is to identify the causes of juvenile delinquency and juvenile offending. The French proverb chosen for its title (Step back in order to jump better) reflects the inherent challenge in this task; that is, how far back must we step in order to gain a complete understanding of these causes? Do we commence with adolescence, childhood, birth, pregnancy, conception, or the young person’s parents and their life experiences? How wide a net do we cast? Should we focus primarily on intra-individual factors, or the social ecologies in which young delinquents are found? Every story must have a beginning. In this story about young people who fall off the prosocial developmental trajectory, all sign posts point to attachment and the quality of the child’s first attachment experiences. This review will examine, from attachment and other developmental perspectives, how many of the more proximal causes of delinquency and youth offending have their origins in the emotional deficits suffered in early life. We will argue that delinquent and offending behavior represent attempts to redress these deficits. Consequently, interventions that attempt to prevent offending and reduce recidivism that do not address attachment ruptures and other early deficits cannot expect satisfactory outcomes. View Full-Text
Keywords: juvenile delinquency; juvenile offending; developmental and psychodynamic precursors to crime; risk factors; prevention juvenile delinquency; juvenile offending; developmental and psychodynamic precursors to crime; risk factors; prevention
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MDPI and ACS Style

Kenny, D.T.; Blacker, S.; Allerton, M. Reculer Pour Mieux Sauter: A Review of Attachment and Other Developmental Processes Inherent in Identified Risk Factors for Juvenile Delinquency and Juvenile Offending. Laws 2014, 3, 439-468.

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