Ch 2: Theories of Delinquent Behavior

About This Chapter

This chapter offers a convenient and flexible review of various theories of delinquent behavior. The short lessons can help you prepare for an important exam or work on a class project.

Theories of Delinquent Behavior - Chapter Summary

In these lessons, our expert instructors present different theories of delinquent behavior, including the general theory of crime, the rational choice theory of criminology and the trajectory theory. Study at your own pace, and feel free to go back to review any areas that are unclear. You can quickly navigate the video lessons using the timeline tabs, which allow you to jump directly to specific topics. The quiz provided with each lesson is a great way to assess your understanding and identify any areas you might need to work on further. Once you've finished this chapter, you should be ready to:

  • Provide an overview of the biological theory of crime and biological determinism
  • Detail the features of cognitive theories of crime
  • Discuss the weaknesses of psychological theories of crime
  • Explain adjustment problems found in adolescence
  • Explore sociological theories of crime and social process theories in criminology
  • Describe the development of the social control theory of criminology
  • Provide an explanation of the social learning theory of crime
  • Outline labeling theory and crime, including retrospective and projective labeling
  • Discuss Sampson and Laub's age-graded theory
  • Identify Glueck's theory of juvenile delinquency

15 Lessons in Chapter 2: Theories of Delinquent Behavior
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
General Theory of Crime: Definition & Examples

1. General Theory of Crime: Definition & Examples

Crimes are prevalent as depicted in the media, but the causes of those crimes are not always known. During this lesson, we will discuss some different theories of crime and provide some examples that relate to modern society.

The Rational Choice Theory of Criminology

2. The Rational Choice Theory of Criminology

Many people weigh pros and cons when they have to make a big decision. But is the same true for people trying to decide whether to commit a crime? Watch this lesson for more on the rational choice theory of crime and hedonistic calculus.

Trajectory Theory: Definition & Examples

3. Trajectory Theory: Definition & Examples

How does someone become a criminal? According to trajectory theory, there are multiple pathways to crime. This lesson will explore the pathways that put children at risk for engaging in delinquent behavior.

Biological Theories of Crime: Overview & Features

4. Biological Theories of Crime: Overview & Features

Why do some people commit crimes, while others obey the law their whole lives? In this lesson, we'll examine one theory, the biological theory of criminology, including evidence supporting it and some of the shortcomings of the theory.

Biological Determinism: Definition & Theory

5. Biological Determinism: Definition & Theory

In this lesson, you will gain an introductory understanding of 'biological determinism' as a theoretical perspective and learn the key assumptions it makes about the causes of criminal behavior. A brief quiz follows the lesson.

Cognitive Theories of Crime: Overview & Features

6. Cognitive Theories of Crime: Overview & Features

In this lesson, you'll learn about cognitive theories as they relate to criminal behavior. You'll first learn what these theories are and as the lesson progresses, how they help us better understand criminal behavior.

Psychological Theories of Crime: Assumptions & Weaknesses

7. Psychological Theories of Crime: Assumptions & Weaknesses

What makes you or me different from a criminal offender? Watch this lesson to find out more about the psychology behind crime, including the four basic aspects of psychological theories of crime and some common criticisms of them.

Problems with Adjustment in Adolescence

8. Problems with Adjustment in Adolescence

Adolescence is a time of lots of changes, which can cause a lot of stress in a teen's life. In this lesson, we'll look at adjustment and maladaptive behaviors in adolescence, including how each manifests in teens' lives.

Sociological Theories of Crime: Overview & Features

9. Sociological Theories of Crime: Overview & Features

Why do crime rates vary from community to community? In this lesson, we'll take a look at sociological theories of criminology, including the social learning and social conflict theories and sociological programs to prevent crime.

Social Process Theories in Criminology

10. Social Process Theories in Criminology

In this lesson, we will discuss the concept of social process in criminology. We will also look at how it relates to symbolic interactionism and how this framework is used in several different criminological theories.

The Social Control Theory of Criminology: Origins & Development

11. The Social Control Theory of Criminology: Origins & Development

When studying crime, many people ask questions about what causes criminals to commit crimes. But some people instead ask why people stay within the bounds of the law. In this lesson, we'll examine the social control theories of criminology.

The Social Learning Theory of Crime

12. The Social Learning Theory of Crime

How much do your friends influence your behavior? In this lesson, we'll examine the social learning theory of criminology, including the ideas of differential association and differential reinforcement, and when the tenets of social learning theory are most likely to happen.

Labeling Theory and Crime: Stigma & Retrospective and Projective Labeling

13. Labeling Theory and Crime: Stigma & Retrospective and Projective Labeling

Labeling others is common in our society. In this lesson, we discuss the specifics of labeling theory, including when and why people are labeled. We also distinguish between retroactive and projective labeling and briefly discuss Travis Hirschi's control theory.

Sampson & Laub's Age-Graded Theory

14. Sampson & Laub's Age-Graded Theory

Explore Sampson and Laub's age-graded theory, and learn about the academic research it's based on. Get insight into the theory's meaning to criminology as a whole so you can better understand factors that affect the committing of adolescent and adult crimes.

Gluecks' Theory of Juvenile Delinquency

15. Gluecks' Theory of Juvenile Delinquency

In this lesson, you'll learn about the Gluecks' theory of juvenile delinquency. We'll discuss their groundbreaking study and which factors can best predict juvenile delinquency.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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