school factors that influence juvenile delinquency

External Influences on Delinquency


The previous lesson focused on personal or internal influences that might encourage delinquent behavior. This lesson will examine external influencers that have the ability to promote delinquent behavior. These external influences can be grouped into three major categories: (1) school interactions; (2) gang interactions; and (3) substance abuse. Each of these involves some form of social interaction in the young persons life.


School Interactions


A significant amount of social interactions for young people occur while at school. The interactions that a student has while at school can influence decisions related to delinquency. Students that feel victimized while at school may turn to violence as a means of protection.


How prevalent is violence at schools? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have provided the following statistics related to school violence for grades 9 – 12.

8.1% involved in some type of physical fight that occurred on school property

7.1% did not go to school on one or more days because they did not feel safe at school or on their way to school

5.2% carried some type of weapon (gun, knife, or club) on school property

6.9% were threatened or injured with a weapon while on school property

19.6% were bullied while on school property

14.8% were bullied electronically


While each of these forms of violence endangers a young person while at school, bullying has been the focus of a lot of recent attention. The U.S. Department of Justice defines school bullying as repeated instances of physical, verbal, or psychological attacks or intimidation against a victim that due to size, strength, being outnumbered, or being less psychologically resilient cannot put an appropriate defense against the attacker(s).


Bullying occurs in many different ways. The most obvious is physical intimidation that happens while in the presence of the assailant. However, the role of technological in modern day teenage society has introduced a new form of bullying; cyberbullying. The following are a few examples of ways in which cyberbullying can occur.

Threatening messages can be sent to the victim by text or email

A victim’s email account can be hacked and fake messages sent that appear to be coming from the victim

False rumors can be spread online or through text messages about the victim

Networking sites and online social pages can be used to post hurtful information such as unflattering pictures or false stories about the victim

Sexual pictures sent in private to one individual that are then spread maliciously online


When students feel unsafe in school their academic performance can suffer. However, even more concerning is that fact that the student may resort to violence as a means of defending themselves, which in turn can lead to additional acts of delinquency.

Compose an essay of 500 – 700 words that identifies at least three (3) influences or factors that occur in the school setting that might cause a juvenile to participate in delinquent behavior. As part of your response discuss why some juveniles choose to avoid delinquent behavior while others decide to participate in delinquent behavior despite the fact that the majority of students are exposed to these same influences or factors within a school setting.

Directly quoted material may be used, but will not count towards the minimum word count. Be sure to support your response with cited scholarly resources as required by APA. A minimum of three (3) peer-reviewed scholarly sources must be used when composing your response.

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