Causes of youths crime and violent acts

Students in a riot beat up an innocent man.
In steadily growing numbers, youths are turning their hands to crime of every kind. This may include smuggling, burglary, car theft, senseless brutality rape, narcotic addictions, drunkenness and even murder. Such lawlessness is a worldwide problem."

So one may ask, what is wrong with today’s youth? Why is the incidence of crime among them constantly rising?

Why are they committing so many violent and wantonly senseless acts of violence? Here are some major factors contributing to this problem:

Lack of parental supervision

Youths without parental supervision getting drunk.
For one thing, the modern family has lost the cohesiveness of its predecessor. In earlier times, when dad was on the farm and “working mothers” were in the kitchen, children were under closer supervision of the parents."

Parents were strict but they let the children know they were wanted and loved. There was no jalopy to whisk junior away from dad’s watchful eye.

Instead of commercialized recreation, good times were had in the family living room. The family moved forward as a unit, “all for one and one for all.”

Even the youngsters had the responsibility of contributing to the welfare of all the others by doing appropriate chores.

In those days families commonly enjoyed an interaction of unity, love, order, responsibility and mutual respect that kept delinquency to a minimum.

With the arrival of industrial and technological progress many fathers and mothers have been drawn into the office work place.

Immigration from villages to cities and from one country to another has also severed vital links with stabilizing traditions. All this changes have taken youth away from parental supervision.

Possibly this is chief cause for many parents to be too busy with prosperous businesses, dinner engagements, club and committee meetings, golf games and so forth, to spend time with their children.

It is especially difficult on the youth if both parents are working. No one is home to welcome the youths when they return from school and there is no one to supervise their activities.

Usually such parents tend to substitute gifts of money and other things for the time they should be spending with their children.

However, it is important for parents to remember that love and respect cannot be brought.

Failed homes

A child watching statues of parents fighting.
It is a statistical fact that most youths who get classified as criminals come from homes that have failed. Some youths are brought up in an atmosphere of drunkenness and brawling. They usually witness parents committing assaults upon each other. Such homes are nothing less than breeding places for crime and many criminal courts attest to this."

Youth’s whim is often the center of family authority instead of the parents’ will. In place of the old family unity, far too often each member of the family looks after “number one,” himself.

Money and pleasure are the only goals for many. Unethical practices are considered “smart” and expedient. Idealistic youth sees many adults paying only lip service to law and morality.

Disillusioned youths then rejected the adult society and adopt a code of their own suitable to the society of the street.

There, in the absence of adult leadership and a worthwhile goal, “reputation” and “kicks” become the important things in life.

Youths have found this could be gained and maintained by the thrill of vandalism, theft, fighting and experiences with sex and drugs.

Even if there are enough opportunities for employment, these youths no longer know the satisfaction of getting a job done.

There is no real incentive to work and save for what they can steal.

Infectious rebellious spirit

Riots in the city of London of minority group of Sikhs.
Frequently when a delinquent youth is asked why he committed a vicious cruelty or vandalized a school, the answer is, “l don’t know why.” Or he might claim he did it “just for the kicks.” It seems many youths act on impulse without making any effort to excises self-restraint. Why do they behave this way?"

Because they live in a rebellious era in which people are rejecting long established moral codes, flagrantly violating laws by acts of civil disobedience or fighting policemen who are trying to maintain law and order.

This spirit of rebellion has infected the youth and is encouraged by parents and teachers who place ever fewer restrictions upon them.

Today’s age of rebellion might well be called “the revolt of youth” were it not for the fact that rebellion by adults has spawned the whole tragic business.

One rebellion lays the groundwork for another kind of rebellion.

Youthful rebels can be divided into two general classes. One group makes up those delinquents inclined toward violence.

The other group is made up of those who rebel against restriction so that they can live by their sensual desires, enjoying the excitement of the moment.

Mental diet of crime and violence

A poster of a horror movie of a murder by a teenage girl.
Not to be overlooked as a cause of youth lawlessness is the constant diet of violence and crime fed to youths through television, movies, comic books and novels. With regard to movies and television shows that constantly depict violence, are they just harmless entertainment?"

Evidence show that the repeated exposure to suffering of others, for the purpose of entertaining results in scarred tissues of hardness, intense selfishness and even mercilessness.

The murder mysteries vividly portrayed in novels and movies have a strong suggestive influence upon young minds.

There have been numerous instances in which young imaginative minds have put into action the violence contained in such stories.

An example in point is that of a thirteen year old boy who stabbed his widowed mother to death with a bread knife.

He told the police that he got the urge to kill his mother after watching some goofy movie.

This adult produced movie sold him the overpowering wicked idea and with it he murdered his mother.

However, it seems unlikely the movie industry will do much in way of making changes to their scripts as long as they believe that their best profits comes from appealing to the public’s morbid fascination for what is sordid, violent, brutal and sadistic.

It is up to each individual family to impose censorship on it considers detrimental to the minds of their youths.

Human greed

A picture of a bribe offered to an government official.
Human greed has been the molding force in developing the present structures of human society that has as a continuing feature of creating dismal living conditions for many youths, conditions that have breed so much ‘youth crime in the streets."

Commercial vested interests, political exploitation and oppression, create frustrations that cause many youths to despair of being able to improve their lot in life by honest means.

Vicious wars to achieve nationalistic aims demoralize and brutalize youths, creating a climate for future violence.

High political figures and judges practice corruption causing youths to lose confidence in legal justice. Yes, crime seems to be woven by the very fabric of human society.

Therefore it is not surprising to see some of the youths involved in crime and violence even coming from middle-income and upper-income families.

No longer can youth violence be regarded as just a product of poverty and slum living. In country after country young people from all levels of society seem to be going wild.


The reasons for worldwide lawlessness among youths may be varied, but whether the causes of anti-social conduct are perceived as originating from biological or social processes, conditions in the home are still recognized as the major causative factor in youth delinquency.

 While many factors play a part in the development of delinquency, family conditions are a key in sparking or dampening its growth.