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What is juvenile delinquency? In common parlance, there is an understanding of juvenile delinquency as meaning adolescents breaking the law or participating in mischievous behavior. Defining juveniles as being under the age of 18 years is the general rule of thumb because, in the current legal system, upon reaching this age individuals can be tried as adults, serve in the military, and, in some states, consume alcohol.

One may ask why juvenile delinquency is viewed as a separate construct from adult deviant behavior. The answer to this legitimate question is derived historically from societal attitudes about children (Aries, 1962). Only after the Victorian Age were children seen as emotionally and intellectually developing human beings. During the Victorian Age, children were simply viewed as little adults. ...

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