Adolescent Development, Delinquency, and Juvenile Justice

Jennifer L. Woolard

in The Oxford Handbook of Juvenile Crime and Juvenile Justice

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780195385106
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Adolescent Development, Delinquency, and Juvenile Justice

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  • Criminology and Criminal Justice
  • Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice


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Some form of delinquency is a normative part of adolescence for a majority of teens, yet the consequences of risky behavior and juvenile justice involvement can be severe. This article focuses on important aspects of adolescent delinquency and justice processing. It examines the cognitive factors which develop during adolescence, which illustrate that adolescents appear to perform comparably to adults by about the age of sixteen. Following this, it examines psychosocial factors of susceptibility to peer influence and future orientation and their continued development in the adolescent period. It also reviews the developing challenge of regulating emotions and affective responses that continues well into young adulthood. Finally, placing adolescents in their ecological context, it makes an attempt to describe how unique relationships between adolescents, parents, and the state present challenges for adolescents that no other age group faces in the legal system.

Keywords: adolescence; adolescent delinquency; justice processing; juvenile justice; legal system

Article.  7255 words. 

Subjects: Criminology and Criminal Justice ; Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice

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